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Biofuels

North Carolina’s leading agricultural industry is a rich resource for biofuel production. The state’s climate and growing conditions are favorable for producing the biomass needed to make ethanol, drawing biofuel businesses to North Carolina.

The Current Infrastructure

According to the Biotechnology Center Company Directory, there are more than 40 biofuel companies statewide.

What Are Biofuels and Why in North Carolina?

There are two main types of biofuel: Ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is a gasoline supplement that is produced from starchy biomass through an enzymatic process, and biodiesel is a diesel supplement produced from plant oils through a chemical process. These fuels are made from organic matter that represents a developing and promising market for growers across North Carolina.

While corn is a popular ingredient for biofuel production, North Carolina is abundant in biomass and feedstock that can also be used for ethanol production:

  • Pine
  • Switchgrass
  • Canola
  • Algae
  • Kudzu

Abundant Training Opportunities

North Carolina’s colleges and universities provide workforce training in all functions of the biofuel production process. North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides industry training in a number of fields. The North Carolina Community College System offers associate’s degrees in biofuelsagricultural biotechnology, agribusiness and more.

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