Biofuels Center at CED Biotech 2009 (17 Feb 2009)

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina co-sponsored and attended the Council for Entrepreurial Development's 18th annual Biotech Conference in Raleigh on 16-17 February 2009. Governor Beverly Perdue addressed the conference on opening day see picture above, and emphasized the importance of advances in green energy and agricultural biotechnology as areas for North Carolina to make significant progress.

The event also included a variety of panels on industry topics and trends, one specifically devoted to biofuels and chaired by Biofuels Center Acting President Steven Burke.

Almost a thousand people attended the conference, and the Biofuels Center's exhibit enjoyed heavy traffic and considerable interest in biofuels.

Biofuels Awareness Day (02 Dec 2008)

The Biofuels Center held a biofuels awareness day at the Biofuels Campus for Granville County farmers, county officials, economic developers and local citizens.  About 50 people attended the event in which an overview was given of the Biofuels Center’s mission, the long-term strategic advantages that the state will gain by being able to produce biofuels from locally grown biomass, and an explanation provided about what biofuels are and some of the technologies behind how they can be made.   The presentation provided insights into both what the Biofuels Center is doing in Granville County as well as the long-term impact the center will have for the state.

In addition to the Center’s presentation, Sam Brake of Red Birch Biofuels explained how Red Birch is working with farmers to grow canola for biodiesel production and sale, and Piedmont Biofuels brought their mobile biodiesel education trailer where they demonstrated the process from crushing through manufacturing and washing to high-grade fuel.

Novozymes awarded $12.3 million contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (08 Oct 2008)

Funding will be used to further increase efficiency of enzymes for converting waste biomass to cellulosic ethanol


From left to right: U.S. Congressman Bob Etheridge, U.S. Senator Richard Burr, and Novozymes chief science officer Per Falholt celebrate the grant at the new research wing.

Novozymes was awarded a $12.3 million contract from the US Department of Energy (DOE) October 8, 2008 to improve the enzymes necessary to produce cellulosic ethanol. Novozymes’ project DECREASE (Development of a Commercial-Ready Enzyme Application System for Ethanol) aims to improve the performance of Novozymes’ most advanced enzyme system, to further reduce the cost of cellulosic ethanol production. Under the terms of the two and a half year contract, Novozymes has committed to increase the efficiency of the enzymes used in the conversion of cellulosic biomass to ethanol by two-fold. In combination with internally funded research and development to reduce enzyme production costs, this work will enable Novozymes to supply new and even more cost-efficient commercial cellulases in pilot, demonstration, and commercial plants by 2012. Novozymes will match the DoE funding dollar for dollar, bringing the total investment of the research project to USD 25 million.

Development of commercially viable enzymes for the production of cellulosic ethanol is the largest research and development effort in Novozymes’ history with more than 100 employees allocated. Novozymes has already confirmed plans to launch the enzymes required for commercially viable production of ethanol from cellulose by 2010, midway through this contract, and now plans to reach an enzyme cost target that is even further reduced by 2012. This target is based on the use of corn stover as biomass feedstock.

The event was celebrated at Novozymes' US headquarters, in Franklinton, N.C. Read more at Novozymes.