(Oxford, N.C.) The Biofuels Center of North Carolina has awarded $1,479,949 for 12 projects statewide to develop the biofuels sector. The Center’s 2012 grants program awards grants to nonprofit organizations and academic institutions across the state to accelerate commercial-scale renewable fuels production. Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke affirmed the value North Carolina will gain from the 12 awards. “The projects directly address immediate needs of the statewide biofuels sector – biomass economics, efficient fuel development, soil science, wildlife sustainability, and waste-to-fuels conversion – and also reflect its decentralized nature, contributing to western, central, and eastern communities alike,” Burke said. “In range and impact, the projects also verify why North Carolina has become quickly a credible national site for biofuels.”
Strengthening and funding capabilities statewide for biofuels commercialization is a prime task within the Center’s legislative and policy mandate, and is key to development of sector leadership, economic return, and meeting the state’s goal: By 2017, 10 percent of North Carolina’s liquid transportation fuels will come from biofuels grown and produced within the state.
The Center received 34 pre-proposals totaling more than $4.7 million from 17 institutions following its November 2011 request for applications.
The awarded projects are:
· North Carolina’s Role in the Global Biomass Energy Market
$75,000 ∙ UNC-Chapel Hill
· The Economic Impact of Biomass Alternatives on North Carolina’s Economy
$50,000 ∙ UNC-Chapel Hill
· Arundo donax Response to Nitrogen in Central Piedmont Soils
$568,601 ∙ N.C. State University
· Evaluating Biomass Harvesting Practices with
Respect to Wildlife Sustainability
$100,000 ∙ N.C. State University
· Suitability of NC Piedmont Soils for Bioenergy Crop Production (Year 2)
$47,346 ∙ N.C. State University
· Modeling Impacts of Biomass Production on Landscapes and Wildlife
$98,038 ∙ N.C. State University
· Biodiesel Feedstock Harvesting and Production Improvements
$100,000 ∙ Catawba County
· Increasing Biofuels Production and use at Haywood Community
College and Haywood County Materials Recovery Center
$15,770 ∙ Haywood Community College
· Delivering an Enzyme-based Solution for the
North Carolina Biodiesel Industry
$99,994 ∙ Chatham County Economic Development Corporation
· Integrating Ethanol Production with Muncipal Waste Management in
$95,200 ∙ UNC-Charlotte
· City of Raleigh: Assessment of Energy Crop Production at Wastewater
$100,000 ∙ City of Raleigh
· Accelerating the Western North Carolina Biofuels Industry
$130,000 ∙ AdvantageWest Economic Development Group
Background information about the Biofuels Center of North Carolina
In 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly and other state leaders recognized that biofuels offered enormous agricultural, economic, and strategic value to the state over time and that an entire new sector must as a result be created across the landscape. Following recommendations of North Carolina’s Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership, the General Assembly created the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, the nation’s only agency working comprehensively over time for all aspects of biofuels development.
A private non-profit corporation funded permanently by the North Carolina General Assembly, the Center is charged with charting North Carolina’s path over years to gain large capacity for alternatives to petroleum-based liquid fuels. The Center assists all parties statewide involved in the science, growing, production, and logistics of biofuels, and in addition addresses the educational, public information, and policy issues of a growing new sector.
The Biofuels Center is based in Oxford on North Carolina’s Biofuels Campus, a partnership project with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Over the next decade, the Campus will take shape as the nation’s only large-acreage site for biofuels trial-growing, company incubation and partnerships, demonstration facilities, and public education.