a RTI Fellows Symposium,
“was held Monday and Tuesday at the University of North Carolina's Friday Center in Chapel Hill.
Global warming and what role biofuels will play in the energy supply were two of the scientific challenges addressed at the symposium.”
According to Science in the Triangle, North Carolina focuses,
“on biodiesel and ethanol from corn and biomass to meet an ambitious goal: By 2017, 10 percent of liquid fuels sold in the state should be locally grown and produced.
The first corn ethanol plant is scheduled to go online in January in Hoke County, said Burke (Steven Burke, chief executive of the Biofuels Center of North Carolina) of the biofuels center.
Fourteen biomass feedstocks have been planted at research sites and private farms statewide and North Carolina's 18 million acres of forest are expected to contribute wood waste for ethanol production.
The state also has a partnership with RTI to produce ethanol in other ways than fermentation. Outside of that partnership, RTI recently was awarded a federally funded contract to work on a process that turns biomass into a type of bio oil, which can be mixed and refined with petroleum.
The state's 10 percent goal is a tall order, Burke acknowledged. It will require an increase of biofuels production from 2 million gallons in 2008 to 600 million gallons in 2017.
He's counting on music to gain support and boost demand for biofuels. The biofuels center signed up 19 artists, who agreed to have their fan Web sites linked to the center's site. All artists are featured on a CD called "From Bluegrass to Switchgrass."
Burke called it music "for a state obsessed with fast-driving NASCAR."
To listen to “From Bluegrass to Switchgrass,” for yourself visit the Biofuels Center of North Carolina.