New ethanol co-products can help ethanol plants become true biorefineries, unlocking the additional potential of each kernel of corn.

With multiple U.S. biorefineries and headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., Poet says that co-products such as Inviz, the company’s branded zein, open many new markets for producers today. Zein, a class of prolamine protein found in maize, usually is manufactured as a powder from corn gluten meal.

As a biodegradable, low-nutrient corn protein, Inviz can be used as a gum base or in films, packaging, adhesives, coatings and glazes.

Distillers grains are a co-product already broadly produced by the industry, but Poet is exploring more products to further expand the potential of corn and change ethanol plants into what it calls “true” biorefineries.

Poet’s planned cellulosic ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa, will use the waste stream to create energy, enough to power the entire cellulosic ethanol plant and the majority of the adjacent grain ethanol plant as well. Bio-based chemicals and related products will likely emerge as viable co-products.