Researchers at Clemson University have a new mobile biofuels processing plant that will help do new research on new biomass feedstocks, like algae and fungio, while spreading the word of what biodiesel can do.
This press release from the school says its $125,000 piece of equipment from Piedmont Biofuels in North Carolina will provide the research platform and take the demonstration to the public:
“We had our initial successful run last week using waste algal and sunflower oils from Martek Biosciences in Kingstree and then used the biofuel to cycle back to a generator to achieve net-zero production,” [biosystems engineer Terry Walker said].
The plant is being developed to convert waste oils to high-grade biodiesel that can be used in many vehicles. The biodiesel is expected to cost less than regular diesel fuel, has a lower “carbon footprint” or environmental impact and can form the basis for a new industry in the state.
Walker said support for the purchase came from many sources, including Clemson Public Service Activities; the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences and others at Clemson; Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro, N.C.; and SunStor Inc. in Greer.
The school will be showing off the new mobile facility at the annual biomass meeting this fall at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center on October 7th.