Biofuels Headline Newsletter

Biofuels Headline - June 2012

Headline - Biofuels Newsletter

   June 2012                                                                       unsubscribe | update profile | forward to a friend   

Biofuels Image of the Month
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke, and others
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke (center) prepare to cut the ribbon on the Piedmont Biofuels enzymatic biodiesel processing unit in Pittsboro, N.C. (22 June 2012). Learn more about this world-first technology and its potential impact on the industry in this month's podcast with Piedmont Biofuels founder and research director Rachel Burton.
Biofuels Industry Spotlight

 The Zymobile—a 2011 Dodge Charger flex-fuel vehicle (FFV)—is owned and operated by Novozymes, the leading provider of enzymes used to make biofuels. Capable of running on an 85-percent ethanol blend, the Zymobile is one way Novozymes is communicating with the public about conventional and advanced biofuels, or fuel made from clean, renewable materials. The vehicle serves as a conversation-starter to educate the public, business and opinion leaders, and government officials about the benefits of this technology. It is Novozymes’ goal to keep the Zymobile on the road throughout the year attending events, conferences, meetings, parades, and other venues across the continental United States.

The biofuels industry today is supporting farmers and 400,000 other American jobs, contributing to the national economy, and keeping fuel prices about a dollar lower at the pump, according to a recent analysis. With its North American headquarters in Franklinton, N.C., the company introduced the first commercially available enzyme for the production of advanced biofuels in 2010. Since then, performance has increased many times to the point where, according to the company, advanced biofuels can now be made cost- competitive to gasoline.

For more information, visit
the Zymobile website. On the site, visitors will find more information about the car, myths and facts about biofuels, and the locations of E85 pumps across the country.

Biofuels Center News

 Ethanol-maker sees green in field-grown fuel in NC (The Associated Press)
The Biofuels Center thinks the Chemtex site near Clinton could be the first of more than a dozen ethanol plants statewide, each employing several dozen workers. ... 

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Center-supported project cuts ribbon on new biofuels technology (Durham Herald-Sun)
The new technology expands the range of fats, oils and greases—or feedstocks—able to be produced into B100 biodiesel. ...

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Center collaborates with Va. Tech, extension specialists to develop best practices (PRWeb/Yahoo News)
Steve Wall, director of policy and environmental issues at the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, says a nursery raising biofuels grasses in Duplin County, N.C., has become the first to implement the new BMPs, and it is hoped others in the industry will do the same. ... 

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Center-supported project produces biofuels, energy from landfill (Charlotte Observer)
Biofuels could take advantage of two of the state’s largest resources, agriculture and the biotechnology industry. ...

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McDowell students learn about biofuels (McDowell News)
Communications manager Shane Reese spoke to kids about biofuels and the different non-food resources that are used to create ethanol. ...

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Center hosts minority farmers from across state
The biofuels tour was part of the North Carolina Minority Farmers and Landowners Conference. ...

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Center CEO to speak at US Department of Energy conference
Steven Burke, president and CEO of the Biofuels Center, has been invited by the U.S. Department of Energy to speak at Biomass 2012 in early July.. ...

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North Carolina Biofuels News


USDA selects NC-based project for $3.9 million feedstock boost (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
The $3,996,000 award will support establishing and growing over 4,000 acres of Miscanthus and Switchgrass across 11 counties in North Carolina. ...

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NC-based researcher awarded USDA funding for biofuels impact study (High Point University)

Campbell's role in the project is to examine pollinating insects and how their populations and diversity are affected by various types of biofuels crops. ...

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Bank of America announces new $50 billion renewables fund (MarketWatch)
The company expects to grow its business activities around the world as governments, companies, and individuals worldwide shift spending and investing patterns in response to energy security and other factors. ...

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News Around the Globe

EPA issues approval for retailers to begin selling E15 (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
The agency’s approval was heralded by ethanol groups and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as being a victory for American consumers and another step toward achieving energy independence. ...   

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 OSU partner in $5.7 million project to develop new biofuels (The Ohio State University 
The three-year project involves the production of a hydrocarbon from two drought-tolerant plants: Guayule, a woody shrub native to the southeastern U.S. and Mexico, and Sweet Sorghum, a crop similar to sugar cane that is grown in southern U.S. regions. ... 

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MSU publishes '11 things you probably didn't know about biofuels' (Michigan State University)
The list is based on a presentation by Kurt Thelen, MSU professor of crop and soil sciences and bioenergy crop agronomist. ... 

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Tennessee farmers growing energy grass for biofuels (
Tennessee farmers are able to play a significant role in a state-sponsored biofuels initiative. ... 

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Biodiesel industry launches multimillion-dollar ad campaign (Governors' Biofuels Coalition)
The ads will feature a Ford Super Duty pickup that recently set a land speed record driving with B20, a mixture of 20-percent biodiesel and 80-percent diesel. ... 

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Cornell researchers make biofuels from beer broth ( 
Researchers have figured out a way to make biofuels products from beer broth, and their findings are so exciting that the normally unflappable Royal Society of Chemistry has conferred “hot” status on a paper describing the beer-to-biofuels process. ...

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Biofuels Education Spotlight

 East Carolina University assistant 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. Zhang also brings his expertise to his Plant Biotechnology course, which is offered each fall semester.

Dr. Zhang’s biofuels research is a significant component of the newly developed East Carolina University Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Initiative (IBI), in which new collaborations are being encouraged and multidisciplinary research projects developed for the state’s biotechnology industries, including the biofuels sector.

To learn more about Dr. Zhang's biofuels research and other projects, click here.


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.

North Carolina Department of Transportation Fleet and Material Management
NCDOT is one of the largest users of biofuels in North Carolina and adopted a highly successful approach to implementation and procurement of biofuels for its fleet vehicles. ...

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Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County
The Metropolitan Sewerage District (MSD) is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. ...

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Oakboro Oil Company
Oakboro Oil distributes biodiesel and ethanol in North Carolina, along with conventional petroleum products. ...

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Haywood Community College
Haywood Community College has projects to increase biofuels production and utilization at the college and also at Haywood County Materials Recovery Center. ...

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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 locally grown and produced biofuels. Find out more at
  Did You Know?
When asked "Which laboratory-driven advancement do you think will have the greatest impact on the human condition in the next decade?", Scientific American magazine readers said the development of new fuel alternatives will matter most. (Source: May 2012 issue)


  Biofuels Center Podcast
Piedmont Biofuels founder and research director Rachel Burton discusses the company's world-first enzymatic biodiesel processing unit with Biofuels Center communications manager Shane Reese.

  Biofuels Term to Know
  E15 is a gasoline blend containing 15-percent ethanol, which has been approved for use in vehicle models 2001 and newer. ...

  Biofuels Feedstock Profile
Giant Reed is a perennial energy grass under evaluation as a biofuels feedstock crop, which can grow up to 20-feet tall. ...

  Biofuels Event Calendar

10-11 July 2012 -
Biomass 2012
Washington, D.C.

23-26 July 2012 -
7th Annual BIOMAN Conference
Graham, N.C.

Late July 2012 (TBA) -
BCAP Meetings
Southeastern N.C.

  North Carolina, USA

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