BIOFUELS

OSU research could lead to bio-fuels processed from algae

CORVALLIS, OR – Oregon State University researchers are working to find an efficient method of processing bio-diesel fuel and ethanol from one of the world’s most plentiful organisms – algae – which could lead to breakthroughs in reducing the world's dependency on petroleum.

Applying the findings to mass-produce algae and extract its oils could be five to 10 years in the future, but the advantages are worth the wait, according to Ganti Murthy, assistant professor of biological and ecological engineering at OSU.

Algae are versatile organisms that are "plant-like" but do not have a root system or leaves. Plants pull water and nutrients through their roots and release vapor through their leaves in a process called transpiration.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an acre of corn transpires about 4,000 gallons of water a day. Because algae do not have such a vascular system, they use water only as a medium for growing.

"In a closed growing system,” Murthy said, "algae require 99 percent less water than any other crop.”

Another advantage to growing algae is that varieties of the organism have been found flourishing in all kinds of environments – from the Arctic to tropical areas – and in both fresh and salt water. Therefore, Murthy said, growing algae "is not a food-versus-fuel issue; algae can be grown using waste-water and in areas that cannot support agriculture."

Algae also are highly productive compared to conventional crops. For example, a productivity model estimates that 48 gallons of bio-diesel can be produced from an acre of soybeans, whereas algae could produce 819 gallons – and theoretically as much as 5,000 gallons – from a single acre.

One of algae's most remarkable qualities is that it can grow using carbon dioxide generated from fossil-fuel combustion, according to Murthy. Greenhouse gases from industry and coal-fired electrical-generating plants can be piped to algae ponds, where carbon dioxide is a necessary ingredient for growth. In fact, research has shown that algae can grow 30 percent faster than normal when fed carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion.

At the OSU Sustainable Technologies Laboratory, Murthy has built two small photobioreactors to grow microscopic algae in a closed system. They are simple, plastic cylinders that have advantages over an open-pond system in greater productivity, reduced contamination and better control of growth. It takes about three weeks for the algae—combined with light, water, carbon dioxide and mineral nutrients—to multiply and turn the water green.

The primary focus of the OSU lab is to discover efficient ways to extract the oils (also called lipids) and process them into bio-diesel fuel and ethanol, with fertilizer and animal feed as co-products. The biggest challenge, according to Murthy, is separating water from the micro algae he is testing (Chlorella and Dunaliella), which must continually be mixed with carbon dioxide and light as they grow. A combination of straining and centrifuging is the current method of extraction.

Of the more than 3,000 known strains of algae, Murthy grows both fresh water and salt water varieties. The photobioreactors hold about six gallons of water and produce about .17 pounds of algae with each batch.

"Depending on the algae growth conditions, we can usually extract 20 to 30 percent oil from it, and up to 60 percent is possible," he said.

Commercialization of algal bio-fuel and ethanol is a long way off. Yet, with many questions to answer and challenges to overcome, Murthy is undaunted. "A lot of people are working on it," he said, "It's just a matter of putting it together, making it work."

Murthy's work at OSU has been funded by a grant from the Agriculture Research Foundation.


Soybean Checkoff Supports Clean Towns and Cities

ST. LOUIS –– To promote the availability and use of soy biodiesel, the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff will be enlisting some help this spring.

The soybean checkoff will be working with selected U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) Clean Cities chapters to assist in promoting soy biodiesel and soy-based products.

The Clean Cities program is a government-industry partnership sponsored by USDOE and has more than 90 local chapters across the United States. These chapters work in their local areas to reduce petroleum consumption.

“It’s important for the soybean checkoff to demonstrate that we have a cleaner product with soy biodiesel that cities can use in their diesel vehicles without having to make modifications to the fleets,” says Geno Lowe, a soybean farmer from Hebron, Md., and soybean checkoff leader.

“The research shows it has cleaner emissions, and with the lower sulfur standards in conventional fuel, biodiesel can improve lubricity,” adds Lowe, who uses biodiesel on his farm.

The demand for biodiesel has increased dramatically. In 2004, the biodiesel industry sold 25 million gallons of pure biodiesel, and by 2008, production reached almost 700 million gallons.

Part of this increase is due to the growing number of farmers using biodiesel, as now nearly half of all U.S. soybean farmers use biodiesel.

USB asks that Clean Cities applicants develop programs that communicate the benefits of soy biodiesel through education, demonstrations and promotional activities in suburban and urban areas.

The checkoff also partners with Clean Cities chapters to promote biobased products. Through the biobased program, four state coalitions will be reimbursed for programs focused on increasing the use of biobased products.

Selected participants in this reimbursement program will be announced to the media at the beginning of June.

To find out if there is a Clean Cities Coalition near you, visit:
Clean Cities Coalition




Ethanol only part of story behind high corn prices

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – Those who blame ethanol for high corn prices need to dig deeper - oil well deep, said a Purdue University agricultural economist.

"If you say biofuel production is the reason corn prices are going up, you would be right," said Wally Tyner, an energy policy specialist. "But the more important question is why biofuel production is up. Many have blamed the federal subsidy on ethanol, but today that is a small part of the overall picture."

As the per-barrel cost of crude climbs, corn prices are pulled higher by increased ethanol production, Tyner said.

Ethanol production is growing through the combination of consumer demand and federal energy policy.

"Essentially, the mechanism is that higher crude prices lead to higher gasoline prices, which leads to higher ethanol demand, which leads to more ethanol production, which increases corn prices," Tyner said.

Tyner's analysis of the federal Renewable Fuels Standard that mandates ethanol production and the government subsidy for ethanol indicates that corn price trends have followed crude oil markets.

"Most of the corn price increase is due to the higher oil price, not the ethanol subsidy," Tyner said.

Ethanol is subsidized at 51 cents per gallon. Ethanol subsidies have been in place in the United States since 1978.

"Fuel ethanol production began in the early 1980s, and for the 20 years that followed oil prices ranged between $10 and $30 per barrel, except for a couple of brief exceptions," Tyner said.

"The crude oil price averaged $20 a barrel between 1983 and 2002. During that same period, the ethanol subsidy was between 40 cents and 60 cents per gallon, averaging 50 cents per gallon."

Because crude oil prices were low by comparison, there was no economic incentive to push rapid ethanol production. With corn priced at around $2.25 a bushel at that time, per-barrel crude oil prices would have had to approach $60 for ethanol to be profitable without a government subsidy, Tyner said.

"The subsidy was essential for launching the U.S. ethanol industry," he said. "It was a combination of the fixed subsidy and - by today's standards - cheap oil that brought the ethanol industry into being."

The recent run-up of crude prices to $120 a barrel and more has had a profound impact on corn prices, Tyner said.

"Moving from $40 a barrel oil to $120 oil with no ethanol subsidy or Renewable Fuels Standard mandate in effect still leads to a tripling of corn prices," he said.

"With no subsidy or mandate, corn moves from $1.71 a bushel at $40 oil to $5.26 a bushel at $120 oil. With the subsidy or mandate, corn moves from $2.26 a bushel at $40 oil to $6.33 a bushel at $120 oil.

"Put in round numbers, when crude went from $40 to $120 a barrel, corn went from $2 a bushel to $6 a bushel, a tripling of both prices. About $1 of the corn price increase was due to the subsidy and $3 to the higher crude price."

Even if the government subsidy for ethanol were eliminated, corn prices would not return to levels of a decade ago, Tyner said.

The Renewable Fuels Standard mandates that by 2015 at least 15 billion gallons of ethanol be produced annually from corn. Since the federal law was adopted in 2007, ethanol production has exceeded the mandated annual level.

Because of the fuel standard and ethanol subsidy, corn prices would not drop below $3 per bushel even if crude oil prices fell back to $40 a barrel, Tyner said.

"At present, federal policies do induce a higher corn price," Tyner said. "But at high oil prices, the role of oil price is more important than policy in driving corn price."

Tariffs on imported ethanol could force corn prices lower, especially if the tariffs lead to alternative sources of ethanol, Tyner said.

"Since high oil prices directly lead to higher corn prices, corn ethanol becomes much more expensive," he said. "Sugarcane-based ethanol is cheaper to produce than corn ethanol at any oil price, but the gap widens at higher oil prices.

"The removal of the tariff on imported ethanol would lead to the biofuel coming from the lowest cost source - sugarcane - which would reduce some pressure on corn prices and provide the U.S. with lower cost ethanol."

 

 

 

HERO BX receives $1.6 million grant
to complete biodiesel expansion project

November 5, 2009 (Erie, PA) – HERO BX, the country's largest producer of biodiesel, has been awarded a $1,640,250 million grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

HERO BX is matching the award amount with its own funds for a total of $3,280,500. The money will be used to complete the company's expansion project – increasing their yearly output of low-cost, high quality biodiesel, from 45 million gallons to 55 million gallons.

“It is imperative that biofuels companies that are producing fuel today continue to receive financial support,” said Leonard Kosar, CEO of HERO BX. “The state of Pennsylvania is setting a precedent apart from the federal government and many other states – it has recognized the economic, environmental and security value of supporting biofuels companies that are already in production. We cannot and will not be able to produce the next generation of biodiesel and ethanol if we abandon first generation biofuels producers such as HERO BX.”

The grant was awarded as part of Governor Edward G. Rendell's goal to increase alternative energy opportunities within the state. The funds, which will be distributed through Green Energy Works!, is part of the federal funding that the state will receive under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill).

The program goal is to invest more than $99.6 million of federal funding to supplement the state's Alternative Energy Investment Fund. There is a huge economic opportunity for Pennsylvania to produce biofuels.

Through its “Sustainable Crops Initiative,” HERO BX is working with agronomists at Pennsylvania State University to pioneer the use of the camelina. The crop is an ideal feedstock because it's a weed that grows in sub-optimum soil, doesn't need water or fertilizer and produces seven times more oil than soybeans.

In addition, the high Omega-3 by-product has been approved for use in poultry feed. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 200,000 acres of old strip mines that are ideal for growing the feedstock.

“We anticipate that we'll be producing 20-25 percent of our biodiesel using the second-generation feedstock, camelina within the next 2-3 years,” said Kosar. “Unlike many other companies that are simply developing technology using second and third generation feedstocks to produce biofuels someday, we are profitably producing biofuels today.”

About HERO BX

HERO BX, formerly Lake Erie Biofuels, LLC, started operations in 2007 and is Pennsylvania's first large-scale biodiesel production facility. A fully accredited BQ-9000 producer and marketer of biodiesel, HERO BX is the leading producer of biodiesel in the United States and distributes its fuel around the world.

HERO BX's state of the art, on-site laboratory for ASTM D6751 testing, guarantees its biodiesel surpasses all accepted industry standards for performance and quality.




Two-step chemical process
turns raw biomass into biofuel

by Nicole Miller

MADISON, WI –– Taking a chemical approach, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a two-step method to convert the cellulose in raw biomass into a promising biofuel.

The process, which is described in the Wednesday, Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is unprecedented in its use of untreated, inedible biomass as the starting material.

The key to the new process is the first step, in which cellulose is converted into the "platform" chemical 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), from which a variety of valuable commodity chemicals can be made.

"Other groups have demonstrated some of the individual steps involved in converting biomass to HMF, starting with glucose or fructose," says Ronald Raines, a professor with appointments in the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Chemistry. "What we did was show how to do the whole process in one step, starting with biomass itself."

Raines and graduate student Joseph Binder, a doctoral candidate in the chemistry department, developed a unique solvent system that makes this conversion possible.

The special mix of solvents and additives, for which a patent is pending, has an extraordinary capacity to dissolve cellulose, the long chains of energy-rich sugar molecules found in plant material. Because cellulose is one of the most abundant organic substances on the planet, it is widely seen as a promising alternative to fossil fuels.

"This solvent system can dissolve cotton balls, which are pure cellulose," says Raines. "And it's a simple system-not corrosive, dangerous, expensive or stinky."

This approach simultaneously bypasses another vexing problem: lignin, the glue that holds plant cell walls together. Often described as intractable, lignin molecules act like a cage protecting the cellulose they surround.

However, Raines and Binder used chemicals small enough to slip between the lignin molecules, where they work to dissolve the cellulose, cleave it into its component pieces and then convert those pieces into HMF.

In step two, Raines and Binder subsequently converted HMF into the promising biofuel 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF). Taken together, the overall yield for this two-step biomass-to-biofuel process was 9 percent, meaning that 9 percent of the cellulose in their corn stover samples was ultimately converted into biofuel.

"The yield of DMF isn't fabulous yet, but that second step hasn't been optimized," says Raines, who is excited about DMF's prospects as a biofuel. DMF, he notes, has the same energy content as gasoline, doesn't mix with water and is compatible with the existing liquid transportation fuel infrastructure. It has already been used as a gasoline additive.

In addition to corn stover, Raines and Binder have tested their method using pine sawdust, and they're looking for more samples to try out. "Our process is so general I think we can make DMF or HMF out of any type of biomass," he says.

Raines's first foray into biofuels development was supported by the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a U.S. Department of Energy bioenergy research center located at the UW-Madison. Additional support was provided through a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship awarded to Binder.

Note: For a brief bio of Ronald T. Raines, click here . . .


Iowa State Univ. researcher identifies protein
that concentrates carbon dioxide in algae

AMES, IA –– Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are a concern to many environmentalists who research global warming. The lack of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, however, actually limits the growth of plants and their aquatic relatives, microalgae.

For plants and microalgae, CO2 is vital to growth. It fuels their photosynthesis process that, along with sunlight, manufactures sugars required for growth.

CO2 is present in such a limiting concentration that microalgae and some plants have evolved mechanisms to capture and concentrate CO2 in their cells to improve photosynthetic efficiency and increase growth.

An Iowa State University researcher has now identified one of the key proteins in the microalgae responsible for concentrating and moving that CO2 into cells.

"This is a real breakthrough," said Martin Spalding, professor and chair of the department of genetics, development and cell biology. "No one had previously identified any of the proteins that are involved in transporting CO2 in microalgae."

The main protein that Spalding and his team have identified that is responsible for transporting CO2 is called HLA3.

The research by Spalding; Deqiang Duanmu, a graduate student in Spalding's department; and Amy Miller, Kempton Horken and Donald Weeks, all from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; is published in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Now that the HLA3 protein has been identified, Spalding believes there are several possibilities to use the gene that encodes this protein.

The recent explosion of interest in using microalgae for production of biofuels raises the possibility of increasing photosynthesis and productivity in microalgae by increasing expression of HLA3 or other components of the CO2 concentrating mechanism, according to Spalding.

Since all plants need CO2 to thrive, introducing the HLA3 gene into plants that do not have the ability to concentrate CO2, could help those plants grow more rapidly. Spalding says several plants would be candidates for the HLA3 protein.

"One of the things we've been working on is the prospect that we may be able to take components of the CO2 concentrating mechanism for microalgae, such as this HLA3, and put it into something like rice and improve photosynthesis for rice," said Spalding.

Rice and other commodity crops such as wheat and soybeans do not have any CO2 concentrating mechanism.



New biofuels process promises
to meet all U.S. transportation needs

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN –– Purdue University chemical engineers have proposed a new environmentally friendly process for producing liquid fuels from plant matter - or biomass - potentially available from agricultural and forest waste, providing all of the fuel needed for "the entire U.S. transportation sector."

The new approach modifies conventional methods for producing liquid fuels from biomass by adding hydrogen from a "carbon-free" energy source, such as solar or nuclear power, during a step called gasification.

Adding hydrogen during this step suppresses the formation of carbon dioxide and increases the efficiency of the process, making it possible to produce three times the volume of biofuels from the same quantity of biomass, said Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue's Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.

The researchers are calling their approach a "hybrid hydrogen-carbon process," or H2CAR.

Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue's Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.
Photo: Purdue Univ,

"Further research is needed to make this a large-scale reality," Agrawal said. "We could use H2CAR to provide a sustainable fuel supply to meet the needs of the entire U.S. transportation sector - all cars, trucks, trains and airplanes."

The process, which would make possible the dawning of a "hydrogen-carbon economy," is detailed in a research paper appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper was written by Agrawal, chemical engineering doctoral student Navneet R. Singh, and chemical engineering professors Fabio H. Ribeiro and W. Nicholas Delgass.

A conventional method for turning biomass or coal into liquid fuels involves first breaking down the raw material with a chemical process that "gasifies" it into carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Then those constituents are turned into a liquid fuel with other processes.

In the H2CAR concept, hydrogen would be harvested by splitting water molecules, possibly with a well-known method called electrolysis. Then the hydrogen would be added during the gasification step, making the process more efficient by suppressing the formation of carbon dioxide and converting all of the carbon atoms to fuel.

When conventional methods are used to convert biomass or coal to liquid fuels, 60 percent to 70 percent of the carbon atoms in the starting materials are lost in the process as carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, whereas no carbon atoms would be lost using H2CAR, Agrawal said.

"This waste is due to the fact that you are using energy contained in the biomass to drive the entire process," he said. "I'm saying, treat biomass predominantly as a supplier of carbon atoms, not as an energy source."

Power for the electrolysis would be provided by carbon-free energy sources, such as solar, wind or nuclear power. And, unlike conventional methods of producing liquid fuels from plant matter and coal, H2CAR would not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

"The goal is to accomplish the complete transformation of every carbon atom in the feedstock to liquid fuel by supplementing the conversion process with hydrogen from a carbon-free energy source," Agrawal said.

Other researchers have estimated that the United States has a sustainable supply of about 1.4 billion tons of biomass each year that could be used specifically for the production of liquid fuels. With conventional methods, that quantity of biomass would provide 30 percent of the fuel required for the nation's annual transportation needs. But the same quantity of biomass would provide enough fuel to meet all transportation needs using the new H2CAR method, Agrawal said.

"This is possible without using any additional land," he said.

A federal study indicates that 1 billion tons of biomass is potentially available every year from agricultural sources such as crop wastes, animal manure, grains and other crops. The remaining biomass could come from sources including fuel wood from forests, wastes left over from wood processing mills and paper mills, and construction and demolition debris.

The process also offers potential advantages over producing liquid fuels from coal using conventional methods, which emit carbon dioxide. Because H2CAR would not emit this additional carbon dioxide, the process would eliminate the need for proposed carbon dioxide "sequestering."

Sequestering would involve pumping carbon dioxide emissions into saltwater aquifers and hollow underground pockets that used to contain oil, natural gas and coal deposits. But the procedure poses several potential pitfalls.

"Clearly, massive quantities of carbon dioxide would be sequestered during a century-long production of liquid fuels from coal," Agrawal aid. "This would place extreme demands on the carbon dioxide capture, storage and monitoring systems."

The new process also would be more practical than all-electric or hydrogen-powered cars, in part because of the limited storage capacity of batteries and hydrogen storage tanks.

"The tremendous convenience provided by the existing infrastructure for delivering and storing today's fuels is a huge deterrent to introducing technologies that use only batteries or hydrogen alone," Agrawal said. "A major advantage of our process is that it would enable us to use the current infrastructure and internal combustion engine technology. It is quite attractive for hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles."

To grow enough biomass for the entire nation's transportation needs using the conventional method for producing biofuels would require a land area 25 percent to 55 percent the size of the United States, compared with about 6 percent to 10 percent for the H2CAR process.

"This large reduction of land area needed for H2CAR provides an opportunity for sustainable production of hydrocarbon fuel for the foreseeable future," Agrawal said.

A major reason less land would be needed is because of the overall higher efficiency of generating hydrogen by splitting water molecules using solar energy to drive the electrolysis.

Usually, the hydrogen in liquid fuels made from biomass comes from the plant matter itself. But it typically takes more than 10 times the solar energy to grow crops than it does to produce the equivalent quantity of hydrogen possessing the same energy content by using the solar-power electrolysis method, he said.

"So providing hydrogen derived from water through solar electrolysis reduces the amount of biomass needed," Agrawal said. "The average energy efficiency of growing crops is typically less than 1 percent, whereas the energy efficiency of photovoltaic cells to split water into hydrogen and oxygen is about 8-10 percent. I am getting hydrogen at a higher efficiency than I get biomass, meaning I need less land."

Using coal exclusively to produce liquid fuels for the nation's transportation sector could deplete all coal deposits in the United States in about 90 years, whereas H2CAR would enable the known coal reserves to last 140 years.

The researchers suggest in the paper the chemical processing steps needed to make the new approach practical. But making the concept economically competitive with gasoline and diesel fuel would require research in two areas: finding ways to produce cheap hydrogen from carbon-free sources and developing a new type of gasifier needed for the process.

"Having said that, this is the first concept for creating a sustainable system that derives all of our transportation fuels from biomass," Agrawal said.

Purdue has filed a patent for the concept. The approach is in the conceptual stages, and a plan for experimental research is in progress.

The work is supported by the Energy Center in Purdue's Discovery Park.

Link to the report: Sustainable Fuel for the Transporation Sector

 


Innovative Glycerol Combustion System
Demonstrated by
Diversified Energy®

Files Patent, and Seeks Commercialization Partners

GILBERT, AZ –– Diversified Energy® Corporation announced the successful demonstration of a combustion system that offers the global bio-diesel industry an economically attractive use for their crude glycerol.

Under an exclusive worldwide license to Diversified Energy, the breakthrough system developed by North Carolina State University can safely and efficiently burn the glycerol byproduct generated during the manufacture of bio-diesel.

The energy created through the combustion of glycerol can then be used for process heating applications or electricity generation.

The university has built and tested a 100,000 Btu/hour prototype burner, U.S. and international patents have been filed, and Diversified Energy is seeking commercialization partners for market introduction.

The manufacture of bio-diesel through transesterification results in approximately one pound of crude glycerol byproduct for every nine pounds of bio-diesel produced.

Due to the rapid growth in the bio-diesel industry, crude glycerol supplies have also increased. Supplies are expected to grow to well more than 350,000 tons per year in the U.S. and 600,000 tons per year in Europe.

Crude glycerol contains artifacts from the bio-diesel process like catalysts, alcohol, and soap and is therefore costly to refine into higher grade, pure glycerol.

Consequently, crude glycerol market prices have collapsed and the bio-diesel industry is struggling with viable options for the glut of glycerol on hand.

The combustion of crude glycerol offers an elegant solution, where 16 MJ (megajoules) of heat per kilogram of glycerol burned could be provided back to the bio-diesel process, another co-located system, or converted into other energy forms like electricity.

However, the combustion of glycerol has been challenging because of technical, safety, and cost obstacles.

By nature, glycerol has a high viscosity, high auto-ignition temperature, and low heating value. This means it is difficult to flow the product into a burner, hard to ignite, and even more challenging to maintain a flame. In addition, if the glycerol is not completely combusted, it is possible to generate toxic gases.

For this reason the market has struggled to commercialize cost-effective, widely deployable combustion systems for crude glycerol.

The patent-pending process from NC State University is based on a novel spray atomization swirl burner architecture that overcomes all technical and safety issues.

This is coupled with a unique approach to pre-heat the combustion chamber, maintain heat retention, maximize radical retention, and carefully interact air and fuel flows.

The system is extendable to any liquid fuel having an ambient viscosity of greater than 20 centistokes.

A 100,000 Btu/hr prototype has been manufactured and tested with pure glycerol, crude glycerol from a bio-diesel process, and glycerol with water. Rigorous emissions characterization has been completed to showcase the system’s safety.

Diversified Energy is seeking partners to leverage the prototype into a commercial design, manufacture the system, and conduct market sales and service.

About Diversified Energy Corporation

Headquartered in Gilbert, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix), Diversified Energy Corporation (www.diversified-energy.com) is a privately held alternative and renewable energy company focused on maturing innovative technologies, developing commercial energy projects, and providing engineering services support to project developers. Principal areas of expertise include bio-fuels, gasification, and algal biomass production.


About North Carolina State University:
A nationally recognized leader in science and technology with historic strengths in agriculture and engineering, North Carolina State University provides a high-quality education in the humanities and social sciences, design, education, life sciences, management, natural resources, physical and mathematical sciences, textiles and veterinary medicine.

Whether educating students for the 21st century, improving lives through life-altering research, or partnering with communities, business, and government to create jobs, NC State's commitment to innovation creates a culture of excellence that spreads to every facet of the university and affects people's lives in relevant, powerful ways.

NC State’s Office of Technology Transfer manages the University’s patent and technology portfolio, currently consisting of 552 U.S. Patents and approximately 1600 proprietary technologies. Forming partnerships with innovative companies such as Diversified Energy fulfills NC State’s mission of getting academic discovery to the market for the greater public good.




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