2009 Awards

Greater Charlotte Region Biofuels Facility - Centralina Council of Governments

Funding recipient:  Greater Charlotte Region Biofuel Facility – Centralina Council of Governments, Mecklenburg County

Award Amount:  $99,850

This project is an important first step in learning how and to what extent Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities and its partners can transform brown grease, currently a waste product, into biodiesel fuel. The project team, including Central Piedmont Community College, UNC Charlotte, and Centralina Council of Governments (through the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition) is assessing the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of using problematic fats, oils and grease (FOG) as biodiesel feedstock.

Brown grease currently removed from restaurant grease traps, for example, often is taken to landfills because it is mixed with wastewater. Grease poured down drains is the leading cause of sanitary sewer overflows in the Utilities’ 4,000-mile wastewater collection system. 

“Determining whether a feasible technology exists to convert Charlotte’s brown grease to biodiesel is incredibly useful no matter what the outcome. So many utilities are struggling with the same challenge of grease-related overflows that these findings will benefit communities nationally as well.” – Jackie Jarrell, Superintendent of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Environmental Management Division

“To push the green envelope in the region, local governments need to work with and support our academic institutions. We hope this is just the first step.” – Bob Misenheimer, Mayor of Kannapolis and Chair of the Centralina COG Board of Delegates

In addition to CCFC and CMU, the project team includes Catawba County Utility and Engineering Department and students and faculty from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College, and Appalachian State University.

Leveraged funds reported: $85,000
North Carolina counties benefiting from this project: Mecklenburg

For additional information about the impact of Biofuels Center funding and a brief explanation of award recipient reporting requirements, click here.