Biofuels Headline Newsletter

Biofuels Headline - February 2012

Headline - Biofuels Newsletter
February 2012                                                                      unsubscribe | update profile | forward to a friend   

Biofuels Image of the Month
Biofuels Company Accelerator
The Biofuels Company Accelerator is open for business on the second floor of the Biofuels Center building (above) on North Carolina's Biofuels Campus in Oxford. Equipped with upfitted laboratories and office spaces, the Accelerator provides leased space and professional business support for companies and projects. Learn more about how the Biofuels Center will assist emerging companies in this month's Biofuels Center News. 
Biofuels Industry Spotlight

  In 2009, the Town of Cary launched a full-time program designed to give citizens the opportunity to conveniently dispose of waste cooking oils while improving the town’s economy and environment. The "Residential Waste Cooking Oil Curbside Collection" program is not only the first of its kind in the state, it is paving the way for other future civic and small-scale partnerships.

All Cary citizens can participate in the program, which helps to reduce sewer blockages in the sewer system, reduce spillage with the collection of solid wastes, lower sewer system and home plumbing maintenance costs, and reduce oil disposal in the landfill. Residents collect a minimum of a half gallon of used cooking oils and grease (i.e., no motor or other oils) in a sealed screw-top plastic or metal container that previously contained a food product, which is then ready for curbside collection. Residents are asked to label the container “waste cooking oil” and contact the Public Works and Utilities Department customer service to schedule a free pickup.

In addition to cost savings through spill and blockage prevention, the oils collected through the program are converted into biodiesel by a third-party contractor. This cost-efficient fuel then powers the Town of Cary’s diesel fleet, improving air quality.

The Town of Cary’s cooking oil recycling program is emblematic of the partnership opportunities the Biofuels Center identifies, promotes, and strengthens through its Civic and Small-scale Biofuels Project. The Project provides technical assistance and funding to support these partnerships across the state.

For more information about the Town of Cary’s cooking oil recycling program or to explore potential civic biofuels projects in your area, contact Leif Forer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Biofuels Center News

 Center launches Business and Innovation Support Accelerator (Biofuels Center Press Release)
A first component of North Carolina’s Biofuels Campus, in Oxford and Granville County, the facility provides leased laboratory facilities, shared equipment, and business development support from both the Center and other agencies... 

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Center adds communications and public affairs director (Biofuels Center Press Release)
Wil Glenn joined the Biofuels Center staff this week as its director of communications and public affairs, bringing with him over a decade of experience in government communications at the state and local levels... 

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Center president addresses MSW Summit in Chicago
Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke in February addressed the second international Municipal Solid Waste to Biofuels Summit, gaining strong interest in his description of the Center’s Civic and Small-scale Biofuels Project...

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Center vice president presents to North Carolina General Assembly committee
The Biofuels Center was invited to present to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Alternative Fuels on 8 February 2012...

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Center to showcase emerging biofuels sector at 'BioNight' in Greenville
The "show-and-tell" event is an opportunity to learn about emerging technologies and companies while networking with eastern North Carolina's workforce and economic development leaders...

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Center to participate in NCSU workshop on bioenergy
N.C. State University Extension Forestry will host a one-day workshop, “Wood to Energy: Promoting Bioenergy in Your Neck of the Woods,” on 6 March 2012 in Raleigh...

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North Carolina Biofuels News


New enzyme could cut cost of ethanol from waste (The New York Times)
It is one of the holy grails of clean energy production: finding a way to make ethanol from the cellulose in biowaste...

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 Piedmont Biofuels successfully scales up commercial enzyme-based biodiesel production (Piedmont Biofuels)
Piedmont Biofuels announced this month that the company has commenced the first commercial-scale, zero-waste production of biodiesel in the United States using its proprietary approach of enzyme catalysis...

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NC Biodiesel Association president meets with White House (Biofuels Center News Update)
In Washington, D.C., the president of the North Carolina Biodiesel Association met with White House energy officials on 16 February 2012...

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 Blue Ridge Biofuels wins break-through business competition (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Blue Ridge Biofuels used the mentoring and competition to hone plans for a new business opportunity bringing its supply chain closer to home...

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 UNC-Charlotte IDEAS Center to host second 'BioEnergy Symposium' (UNC-Charlotte)
This year's event, scheduled for 13-14 March in Charlotte, will focus on transportation biofuels and will include sessions on markets, feedstocks, policies, and investment outlooks...

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News Around the Globe

Biofuels market to double by 2021, says report (
In a February report, futures analysis firm Pike Research estimates that production of biologically based fuels will increase from $82.7 billion in 2011 to $185.3 billion by 2021...   

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BP: Cellulosic ethanol is real, here (Advanced Biofuels Association) 
BP executive Sue Ellerbusch gives a candid account from her vantage point heading up BP’s North American biofuels business... 

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Shell builds drop-in biofuels pilot plant in Texas (Biofuels Digest)
Shell invested in Virent back in 2010 after the successful startup of the Virent “Eagle” demonstration plant, producing 10,000 gallons per year of biogasoline, a drop-in renewable fuel... 

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'Artificial leaf' eyed as holy grail in energy research (AFP) 

If efficiency could be forced up by even a few percentage points, they could be sitting on major biofuels production potential...

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Biofuels Education Spotlight

A major in biological engineering or chemical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro can set students on the road to a rewarding career in biofuels and the emerging green economy.
“We are very enthusiastic about nurturing new talent in biofuels and bioprocessing because we know this is a growing industry with lots of potential for engineers to make a difference in the world,” said Dr. Ghasem Shahbazi, director of A&T’s Biological Engineering Program. However, he stressed that engineering offers a wide array of jobs and that graduates are not limited to any specific industry. Either major provides a thorough grounding in basic engineering skills that can be applied to many other industries that need engineers, including food processors, pharmaceutical firms, and other chemical or biobased product manufacturers.

“We know where the jobs are, and we know how to help students make the most of their college experience to fit their interests with opportunities in industry,” Shahbazi said.

N.C. A&T also offers a PhD in energy and environmental systems with a concentration in sustainable bioproducts, which is a good fit for graduate students seeking a career in biofuels or bioproducts.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median wages for biological engineers nationally in 2010-11 was $71,000, and $90,000 for chemical engineers.

For more information on biological engineering at N.C. A&T, contact Dr. Ghasem Shahbazi via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , via phone at 336.334.7787, or find information online by clicking here. Information about chemical engineering is available by calling 336.334.7564. For information about the PhD program in energy and environmental systems, contact Dr. Keith Schimmel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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.

The Biomass Crop Assistance Program was established in the 2008 Farm Bill to provide incentives for the establishment and cultivation of biomass crops to be utilized for heat, power, and biofuels...

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Harvesting Arundo donax
The most effective ways to harvest, transport, and store biofuels feedstock crops are being developed, depending on the market into which they are being sold...

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Boeing Corporation
Boeing Corporation is backing efforts to find a sustainable solution to aviation biofuels...

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Bid pricing for military fuel contracts
The adjusted prices from these baselines are what a biofuels producer selling to the military would have to meet in order to be “cost-competitive”...

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As a clean technology company, Fiberight focuses on transforming post-recycled municipal solid waste and other organic feedstocks into next-generation renewable biofuels...

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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 percent of the state’s liquid fuel consumption with home-grown and -produced biofuels by 2017. Find out more at
  Did You Know?
The typical American household spent a record $4,155 filling up their gas tanks in 2011. That is 8.4 percent of what the median family takes in, the highest share since 1981. (Source: Chicago Tribune)

  Biofuels Center Podcast
Dr. Bryan Staley of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) outlines how municipal solid waste can be better managed and used as feedstock for biofuels production with Biofuels Center communications manager Shane Reese.

  Biofuels Term to Know
In biofuels production, enzymes are used to break down cellulose into sugars that can be fermented, and they can also be used for lignin waste...

  Biofuels Event Calendar

8 March 2012 -
NewEnergy Farms
Energy Crop Open Day

Leamington, Canada

16-19 March 2012 -
International Biomass Conference & Expo
Denver, Colo.

30 March 2012 -
NewEnergy Farms
Energy Crop Open Day

Leamington, Canada

  North Carolina, USA

  The Biofuels Center of
  North Carolina

  901 Hillsboro Street
  P.O. Box 1919
  Oxford, NC 27565

  P: 919.693.3000
  F: 919.603.5600
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