The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a sweeping statewide strategic plan to strengthen North Carolina’s future in biofuels development and use.
According to a release from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center:
The 16-page document, “Fueling North Carolina’s Future: North Carolina’s Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership,” is the culmination of a seven-month process involving more than 70 leaders from across the state representing industry, agriculture, academia and government.
Significantly, the plan calls for North Carolina to bypass corn for its ethanol feedstock. Though corn is increasingly used in the Midwest, the plan notes that North Carolina can’t efficiently grow enough corn to meet its fuel needs. Instead, it should tap the best of its own agricultural and industrial infrastructure to develop so-called cellulosic ethanol, using enzymes from companies such as Novozymes, in Franklinton, to efficiently break down wood waste, barley, soybeans, sweet potatoes, switchgrass and possibly even crops not yet identified.