Biofuels Headline Newsletter

Biofuels Headline - February 2013


Biofuels Headline - February 2013

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Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke addresses a press conference in Fletcher, N.C., announcing the organization's $766,256 grant award to a consortium of partners led by AdvantageWest Economic Development Group to fortify the biofuels sector and trigger its expansion in western North Carolina. The project, "Planting the Seeds for a Robust WNC Biofuels Sector," will be collaboratively executed by AdvantageWest and 13 other entities that will themselves invest a 50-percent matching contribution of $383,128, for a total project investment of $1,149,384. Click here to learn more about this and other project developments in western North Carolina.

North Carolina's Growing Strengths: East Carolina University

East Carolina University associate professor Baohong Zhang is currently working on cutting-edge approaches to increasing feedstock yields of Switchgrass for biofuels. Dr. Zhang and his collaborators have found that Switchgrass biomass can be significantly increased by modifying a single small regulatory molecule, called microRNA. The Switchgrass that Zhang is working with has more leaves and a higher tolerance to environmental stressors. The team found that many small regulatory RNAs and their targeted protein-coding genes are expressed when Switchgrass seedlings are exposed to drought and salinity stresses.

By targeting these kinds of molecules in unique ways, it will be possible to increase the biomass yield of biofuels feedstock crops. The initial results obtained by Zhang and colleagues have already been published in peer-reviewed journals. Both graduate students and undergraduate students are involved in the biofuels-related projects. The students are learning to use 21st-century methods to improve crop biomass as well to improve plant tolerance to environmental biotic and abiotic stresses, including drought and salinity. ...

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Biofuels Center announces 2012-2013 targeted biofuels development funding program, strengthening western NC

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina announced Monday, 4 February 2013, it will award up to $1.1 million for projects that address identified areas of critical need related to the acceleration of the renewable fuels industry in western North Carolina. ...

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Triangle Biofuels, Brunswick County team up to recycle cooking oil into biodiesel

With the help of Wilson-based Triangle Biofuels Industries, Brunswick County now offers a recycling option for used cooking oil dropped off at the county's landfill. ...

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Biofuels Center expands sector development capabilities with $1.14M investment in western NC, enhances innovative opportunities

As a chief component of its 2012-2013 grants award process targeting biofuels development in the western part of the state, the Biofuels Center of North Carolina will award its largest grant to date to a consortium of partners led by AdvantageWest Economic Development Group to fortify the biofuels sector and trigger its expansion in the region. ...

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Novozymes wins $2.5M award to study advanced biofuels process

Novozymes, which operates its North American headquarters in Franklinton, N.C., recently landed a federal award to research ways to convert stover into advanced biofuels for vehicles. ...

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Production of fuel made from crop waste, wood chips, household trash, and other nonfood organic sources will reach 9.6 million gallons this year, up from fewer than 500,000 gallons in 2012, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Source: Bloomberg News

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Foothills Bio-Energies president Randy Dellinger discusses his company's biodiesel production, the reinstatement of the federal biodiesel tax credit, and a collaborative project that could enhance biodiesel coproducts.

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Biofuels industry could turn waste into profit, analysis finds

As municipal solid waste (MSW) has the potential to provide "negative" feedstock costs, more biofuels developers are looking into the resource as a viable option, according to a white paper published in January. ...

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Ethanol industry poised to surge on fuel derived from residue, scraps 

After decades of talk, the ethanol industry is building multimillion-dollar refineries in several states that will use plant residue, wood scraps, and even garbage to produce ethanol. ...

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UC Berkeley engineers develop renewable diesel technology

UC Berkeley engineers have created a petroleum-displacing transportation fuel that can be produced from nonfood crops such as energy grasses and other fast-growing plants or trees. ...

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