Investigating the Economic Viability of a Municipal Solid Waste-to-Biofuels Facility in Western North Carolina - Appalachian State University

The project is an economic development study assessing the economic viability and impacts of using the municipal solid waste (MSW) originating from 32 counties located in western N.C. (WNC) as feedstock material for commercial biofuels production. This study will include an in-depth examination of solid waste management in WNC, with particular emphases on the MSW feedstock resource, current and future MSW facility needs in the region, and the business models and industry structure of MSW management in WNC. With input from industry partners the study will review technical specifications for MSW-based feedstock for use in biofuel production and identify financial requirements for both capital investment and operations of an MSW-to-biofuels facility. With financial models developed from these data, a basic business model framework will be constructed and an economic impact model will be used to estimate the effects of producing biofuels from MSW feedstock on the WNC economy.