N.C. State University to host Bioenergy Field Days (31 August 2011)

N.C. State University will host two bioenergy field days in September. The field days provide a time for researchers to share the latest information on the work being conducted on energy crops as well as demonstrations of harvesting techniques and on-farm processing. Biofuels Center staff will be speaking and participating in each of the field days. The field days are free and open to the public.

Western North Carolina Bioenergy Field Day

Location: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, Mills River
Date: 14 September 2011
Time: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Piedmont Bioenergy Field Day

Location: North Carolina's Biofuels Campus, Oxford
Date: TBD
Time: TBD

For more information on the field days please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Center, Green Chemistry Institute explore collaboration (18 August 2011)

The Green Chemistry Institute, a subdivision of the American Chemical Society, and the Biofuels Center of North Carolina are exploring ways in which to collaborate on building an understanding of green chemistry as a developing career path. The Green Chemistry Institute was started to catalyze the implementation of green chemistry and engineering principles into all aspects of the global chemical enterprise. Biofuels and the high-value bioproducts emerging from biorefining largely use green chemistry during the conversion of biomass into renewable products and fuels. The partnership is at an early stage, with the two organizations working on ways to effectively create interest in graduate and MBA chemistry and engineering students considering green chemistry career paths.

US Sen. Burr visits NC-based biofuels company (9 August 2011)

U.S. Senator Richard Burr visited Wilmington-based advanced biofuels engineering company Chemtex International to learn more about the company’s technology and interests in North Carolina.  Chemtex has developed its PROESA  technology to convert a broad array of high-biomass grasses such as miscanthus and Arundo donax to a sugar platform that can be fermented into cellulosic biofuels and bioproducts.  The company is evaluating potential to build a 20 million gallon a year biofuels facility in southeastern North Carolina using energy grasses as feedstocks.  The project would provide new economic opportunity for many North Carolina farmers to grow energy grasses more profitably than existing practices.  Chemtex recently broke ground on a similar facility in Italy with its parent company, The M&G group, using the same feedstocks and technology to produce sugars for conversion to cellulosic ethanol.  The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass like energy grasses to advanced biofuels has another North Carolina connection – the technologies require a new class of enzymes used in the production of fermentable sugars.  Novozymes of Franklinton, N.C. is a global leader in industrial enzymes and a key supplier to advanced cellulosic biofuels projects.

Senator Burr and representatives of Chemtex International and the Biofuels Center

Biofuels Center's Steven Burke joins Energy Secretary Chu for Round Table (25 July 2011)

Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke joined U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu for a regional round table on energy policy in Charlotte, N.C. Chu visited North Carolina for a dedication ceremony at a new lithium-ion battery separator facility for electric and hybrid vehicles at Celgard in Concord, N.C.  Burke briefed Chu on North Carolina's comprehensive approach to development of advanced biofuels using cellulosic feedstocks. He also outlined the role that North Carolina's Biofuels Campus will play in future in providing a single, integrated location for growing of biomass crops and the development of agronomic data, pilot and demonstration facilities, company incubation and partnerships, and education and public engagement. 

First blender pump in N.C. opens in Lexington (15 July 2011)

Filling up with E15The first blender pump in North Carolina opened for business at Sparky's Marketplace in Lexington. Hill Oil Company hosted a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the opening of the state's first service station to offer a newly approved biofuel blender pump.

The pump offers consumers three ethanol blends greater than the commonly available E10. The blends are E15, E30, and E85.  Sparky’s Marketplace is a new gas station, convenience store and Subway located off Business I-85 and U.S. Hwy 52 at the Lexington Hospital exit (#86 Old Salisbury Road & Regents Center Court).

In addition to the ethanol blends on offer, the station is also selling B20 biodiesel. American Recovery and Reinvestment funds were provided to help cover the installation costs through a federal grant administered by N.C. State University and provided by the State Energy Office.

E15 can be utilized in any gasoline vehicle 2001 or newer. E85 is a biofuel blend intended for use by flex-fuel vehicles which motor vehicle manufacturers sell at no additional cost to the consumer. In 2011, 38 FFVs makes and models were available in the marketplace.