Biofuels Headline Newsletter

Biofuels Headline - August 2012

Headline - Biofuels Newsletter

August 2012                                                                unsubscribe | update profile | forward to a friend   

Biofuels Image of the Month
Key business and policy leaders convened at a news conference in Clinton, N.C., for the announcement of the USDA loan guarantee awarded to Wilmington-based Chemtex on 22 August 2012. Chemtex's Project Alpha is likely to be the first commercial-scale facility in the nation producing ethanol from energy grasses. Listen to excerpts from the news conference in this month's podcast. (From left: Jeff Etheridge, Regional President, Southeast Region BB&T; Paolo Carollo, Executive Vice President, Chemtex International; Steven Burke, President and CEO, Biofuels Center of North Carolina; Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager, USDA-Rural Development; Dennis Leong, Executive Vice President, Chemtex International; The Honorable Mike McIntyre, U.S. Congressman.)
Biofuels Industry Spotlight

The North Carolina Biodiesel Association (NCBA) is a grassroots organization that represents the business interests of producers and stakeholders engaged in developing a sustainable biodiesel industry in North Carolina. Economic gain and clean, renewable fuels are key benefits provided by biodiesel producers.

Of immediate priority to the N.C. Biodiesel Association is preserving the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), enacted by Congress in 2005 to create domestic, non-exportable jobs and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign oil. It is the NCBA’s view that this strong national renewable fuel policy, calling for 36 billion gallons of biofuels annually by 2022, is critical to biodiesel producers in this state because the industry has proven successful while benefiting local economies. As field crops wither in parts of the country due to drought, some interest groups opposing the Renewable Fuel Standard perceive the event as an opportunity to attack the policy and, consequently, those who benefit from a vibrant renewable fuels sector. The premise is that fuel- and food-producing companies competing for this year’s limited crop supply will drive up food prices.

The NCBA points out, though, that biodiesel producers in North Carolina do not make fuels from food crops but from cooking oils and animal fats recycled from restaurants or processing plants. The association also states that approximately one-fifth of the recycled fats and oils that are used to make biodiesel are returned to the market as coproducts, including animal and livestock feed. Although not produced in North Carolina, corn ethanol is often cited as the primary force driving up food prices. Ethanol producers say, on the other hand, that one-third of its corn is refined into livestock feed, and thus only 16 percent of the U.S. corn crop is actually used for fuel.

Although biofuels critics hope to capitalize on the drought, the NCBA emphasizes the importance of a national biofuels policy on the statewide level. As biodiesel is one of the state’s remaining manufacturing sectors, North Carolina’s biodiesel producers are working diligently to educate lawmakers and the public about the economic benefits of local biofuels production.

For more information about the N.C. Biodiesel Association, visit

Biofuels Center News

Special Report: Chemtex receives USDA loan guarantee
The $170-million plant in Clinton, N.C., targeting to begin production in 2014, will produce 20 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels annually derived from feedstocks such as Miscanthus, Switchgrass, and other purpose-grown energy crops. ... 

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Chemtex pleased with farmer interest(The Sampson Independent)
Paolo Carollo, executive vice president for Chemtex USA, said the company sees promise in the responses they received from several farmer meetings held in southeastern North Carolina. ...

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Grass may grow into fuel of the future(Fayetteville Observer)
Switchgrass grows naturally in North Carolina and most states except those on the West Coast, and Miscanthus has been studied for more than three decades in Europe, with no cases of unwanted spreading. ...

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Congressman Kissell visits Center for briefing
As part of a regional visit, U.S. Congressman Larry Kissell visited the Biofuels Center for a progress update on 6 August 2012. ...

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Asheville restaurants to recycle with local biofuels producers under new certification
Restaurants in Asheville, N.C., are now required to recycle their used cooking oil through local biofuels producers in order to receive Green Restaurant Association (GRA) certification. ... 

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North Carolina Biofuels News

Triangle company helping turn trash into biofuels (Raleigh News & Observer)
Now scientists at the North Carolina lab have developed enzyme technology that can convert trash into ethanol. ...

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Preserving RFS critical to continued industry success, says Novozymes (Raleigh News & Observer)
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was established in 2007 by a bipartisan Congress with a goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil by introducing domestically produced biofuels into the U.S. marketplace in increasing amounts through 2022. ... 

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Blue Ridge Biofuels, Novozymes voted two of top biofuels partners in nation (Biofuels Digest)
Ranked third in the United States, Blue Ridge Biofuels is one of the top partners in biofuels distribution and marketing, according to Biofuels Digest, while Novozymes is the premier partner for enzymes and sugars. ... 

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NCSU to lead 'forest-to-fuel' tour in eastern NC
The 18 September full-day tour—
originating and ending at the Lenoir County Center in Kinston, N.C.—will demonstrate how woody biomass materials can be efficiently incorporated into a renewable energy supply chain. ... 

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News Around the Globe

BP Biofuels, Texas AgriLife Research sign agreement to advance biofuel feedstock development (North Texas e-News)
BP Biofuels and Texas AgriLife Research, part of The Texas A&M University System, have signed a three-year agreement to develop and commercialize cellulosic feedstocks for the production of advanced biofuels. ...   

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Fulcrum BioEnergy gets guarantee to make ethanol from trash (Bloomberg Businessweek) 
Fulcrum’s Sierra BioFuels Plant will be 20 miles east of Reno, Nev., and may produce as much as 10 million gallons of ethanol a year from household garbage. ... 

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EPA: US produced 100 million gallons of biodiesel in July (Domestic Fuel)
The latest numbers from the EPA show that U.S. biodiesel makers produced 100 million gallons of the green fuel during July and are possibly on pace to surpass last year’s record production. ... 

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Aemetis licenses renewable jet fuel, diesel process from Chevron joint venture (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Licensing the technology will accelerate Aemetis’s efforts to commercialize “drop-in” renewable jet fuel and diesel. ...  

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Biofuels Education Spotlight

The Caldwell Green Commission is a nonprofit organization in Caldwell County working to raise awareness of sustainable technologies, the responsible use of resources, and the adoption of alternative energy sources. To ensure the success of this effort, the Commission offers educational seminars for local businesses and individuals. In May of 2012, for example, the Commission hosted a seminar on industrial recycling for local businesses. Local business owners attended this seminar along with government officials who wanted more information to improve their recycling efforts. Upcoming seminars include a seminar on weatherization and energy efficiency to assist families and businesses in lowering their home power bills.

Another successful Caldwell Green Commission project is the Green Scholars Program, a community outreach initiative comprised of monthly sustainable technology workshops. By addressing sustainability through building science, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and agriculture, scholars receive a high level of understanding through hands-on activities and interaction with professionals in the field of sustainability. Students also participate in field trips to visit local renewable energy sites and green businesses. These meetings are attended by students from Hibriten, South Caldwell, West Caldwell, Caldwell Community Early College, Caldwell Community Middle College, Heritage Christian Academy, and home schools within the county.

Topics covered during the 2011-2012 school year include water reclamation, resource management, biofuels, solar energy, wind power, and vermiculture. The Commission also hosts an all-day Earth Day event and a week-long day camp. During these events, students participated in hands-on activities and lab experiments that familiarize them with subjects related to sustainability. Caldwell Green Commission is continuing this program during the 2012-2013 school year and has expanded it by providing a workspace for the Green Scholars to do homework and research after school. This space includes computers, microscopes, and other lab equipment.

For more information about the Caldwell Green Commission, visit

Biofuels Wiki Recent Updates

The Biofuels Wiki is a one-stop, collaborative site where reliable knowledge about liquid renewable fuels can be found—think of it as a biofuels encyclopedia on the Internet. To add or edit content on the site, click here to register.

BlackGold Biofuels
BlackGold Biofuels specializes in resource recovery from wastewater. ...

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Report: Ethanol's Potential Contribution to Canada's Transportation Sector

This report was commissioned by the independent research organization, the Conference Board of Canada. ...

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Green Hornet
The Green Hornet is the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet powered by a biofuels blend. ...

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biofuels center logo newsletter The Biofuels Center of North Carolina is developing a sustainable, statewide biofuels industry to reduce North Carolina’s dependence on imported liquid fuels and to create jobs. The goal is to replace 10% of the state’s liquid fuel consumption with home-grown and -produced biofuels by 2017. Find out more at
  Did You Know?
In addition to creating jobs and increasing fuel independence, biofuels such as ethanol also provide environmental benefits. For example, cellulosic ethanol has a 94-percent smaller carbon footprint than gasoline, according to a Michigan State University study.

  Biofuels Center Podcast
In this month's podcast, hear excerpts from the news conference in Clinton, N.C., where USDA Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager announced the $99-million Chemtex loan guarantee. Other speakers featured in the podcast include U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre, Chemtex executive vice president Dennis Leong, and Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke.

  Biofuels Term to Know
Cellulose is the most abundant organic compound on Earth and can be used to produce ethanol and many other bioproducts. ...

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  Biofuels Feedstock Profile
Poplar trees can grow 12 feet per year and mature in four years. ...

  Biofuels Event Calendar

18 September 2012 -
Wood to Energy  III: From Forest to Fuel

Kinston, N.C.

24-27 September  2012 -
Algae Biomass Summit
Denver, Colo.

1-4 October 2012 -
Solid Waste Association of North America 2012 Fall Conference
Wilmington, N.C.

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