North Carolina's Growing Strengths: The F3 Program

In western North Carolina, several businesses and organizations are partnering to implement a one-of-a-kind, closed-loop energy project that benefits both the local economy and the environment. The Field to Fryer to Fuel program, or F3, is a joint venture of AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, Blue Ridge Biofuels, Biltmore Estate, and others supported by the Biofuels Center of North Carolina. If the 12-month project is successful, this model could be established in other regions of the state.

Under the program, Blue Ridge Biofuels will produce edible oils from regionally grown oilseeds, and then essentially lease these oils to restaurant partners for their frying needs. After use and collection, Blue Ridge will convert the fryer oil into ASTM D6751-quality fuel for local fuel customers, including Biltmore Estate and others.

Progress is already under way, as Biltmore Estate recently planted nearly 50 acres of canola and will plant the remaining few acres in the next two weeks. Based on regional climate and soil type, the Estate identified four varieties that should provide quality yields for the project. Appalachian State University (ASU) and N.C. State University’s Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center will advise the feedstock crop-growing process.

On the conversion side of the F3 program, Blue Ridge Biofuels recently acquired 20 gallons of crude canola from the ASU-Catawba County Biodiesel Research Station. This crude canola is currently being refined on a lab scale to determine the most suitable refining method for producing quality fryer oils. The samples will be delivered to a lab for end-product and crude oil analysis.

For more information on the F3 program, contact AdvantageWest at #828.687.7234.

Biofuels Center convenes Western North Carolina Biofuels Advisory Council

On 14 September 2012, the Biofuels Center of North Carolina convened a group of biofuels leaders from western North Carolina at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. The initial meeting of the Western North Carolina Biofuels Advisory Council focused on the Biofuels Center’s grants program for 2012-2013, which will specifically target the western region of the state. The grant program will utilize a significant portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) settlement funds that were directed to the Center by the North Carolina General Assembly in the 2012 legislative session.

The Council included 20 participants representing a wide range of vantage points, including biofuels producers, economic developers, local governments, educational institutions, and environmental nonprofits. Council members stressed the importance of collaboration and partnership in the development of biofuels projects in western North Carolina. The Council discussed building on existing efforts—for example, the Evolve Energy partnership being led by AdvantageWest and Land of Sky Council of Governments—to develop and brand this part of North Carolina as a clean energy hub.

The Center will continue its outreach efforts to the western region of the state in the upcoming months. A full request for proposals (RFP) will be announced in late September.

Congressman Kissell visits Center for briefing

As part of a regional visit, U.S. Congressman Larry Kissell visited the Biofuels Center for a progress update on 6 August 2012.

Congressman Kissell was briefed on the progress of the following topics:

- The status of North Carolina's biofuels endeavor
- Gaining feedstocks and large-scale production
- Gaining civic and small-scale production
- Regional woody biomass assessments
- Military and aviation biofuels production
- North Carolina's Biofuels Campus

Kissell said he was a proponent of cost-effective and sustainable biofuels production in North Carolina and he applauded the Center's work in establishing the state as a national leader in the sector.

Biofuels Center News


Biofuels Center to close national model due to state budget elimination

Due to the North Carolina General Assembly's elimination of its funding in the state budget signed last week by Gov. Pat McCrory, the Biofuels Center of North Carolina has begun to shut down operations over a 90-day period and will close its doors by Thursday, 31 October 2013.
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EPA approves Arundo donax for advanced biofuel use

The Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that Arundo donax, a high-yielding giant reed, qualifies as a cellulosic renewable fuel.
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Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/07/03/3008587/epa-approves-arundo-reed-for-use.html#storylink=cpy

Biofuels Center featured in bioeconomy case study

A new case study, part of the SAFER Bioeconomy Case Study Series, focuses on the development of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina and lessons learned to date.
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Biofuels Center boosts renewable fuels industry in western NC with $600K investment

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina recently awarded $684,058 for six projects to accelerate the renewable fuels industry in western North Carolina.
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Biofuels Center announces 2012-2013 targeted biofuels development funding program, strengthening western NC

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina announced Monday, 4 February 2013, it will award up to $1.1 million for projects that address identified areas of critical need related to the acceleration of the renewable fuels industry in western North Carolina.
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Biofuels Center expands sector development capabilities with $1.14M investment in western NC, enhances innovative opportunities

As a chief component of its 2012-2013 grants award process targeting biofuels development in the western part of the state, the Biofuels Center of North Carolina will award $766,256 to a consortium of partners led by AdvantageWest Economic Development Group to fortify the biofuels sector and trigger its expansion in the region.
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Repreve Renewables announces open info meeting on Freedom Giant Miscanthus, BCAP

Repreve Renewables will hold an open informational meeting on Freedom Giant Miscanthus—a variety of Miscanthus developed by the company for biofuels production—on Wednesday, 1 August 2012, at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center in Clinton from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At the meeting, farmers can learn more about Freedom Giant Miscanthus as a crop, including planting, growing and harvesting practices, pricing, and how it fits into the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) in North Carolina.

With plans to construct the nation’s first cellulosic biofuels facility in Sampson County, Chemtex International was recently awarded support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s BCAP program to grow energy crops, including Switchgrass and Miscanthus, in Sampson and surrounding counties.