City of Raleigh: Assessment of Energy Crop Production at Wastewater Treatment Facilities - City of Raleigh

City of Raleigh (COR) seeks to better understand costs and benefits for biofuel production on municipal land at 8500 Battle Bridge Road, Raleigh, for its own benefit and to serve as a model for other NC municipalities. In 2010, COR planted 27 acres of sunflowers on effluent-irrigated lands, yielding 1,258 gallons of biodiesel. One lesson was the unanticipated cost of crushing seed and lack of available local processors. Overall project goal is to increase energy crop potential to best use COR’s existing farm equipment, storage and operational capacity by expanding vertically, through equipment purchase and best processes, to manufacture biodiesel fuel for COR’s fleet. COR, in close partnership with North Carolina State University, will assess yields and costs under irrigated and non-irrigated acreage as well as biosolid and non-biosolid-treated acreage. Results will be organized into materials for dissemination via electronic sources and through a proposed workshop at COR’s training center.