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Wake Forest University receives biodiesel grant

Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, US, has been given a grant from the Biofuels Center of North Carolina worth more than $145,000 (€97,500).

The money will be used to expand the university’s testing facilities for biofuels catalysts. The grant is for one year’s worth of research and will be used to produce biodiesel from cheap feedstocks and other sources.

The university is one of 15 projects to receive funding around the state. The Center has donated about $1.6 million of funds in order to speed up the commercialisation process of biofuels.

At Wake Forest, researchers have been using vegetable oil waste, animal fat waste, recycled cooking grease and other oils taken from municipal sewage and water treatment plants as feedstocks. Scientists are also currently researching algae as a potential feedstock.

However, the problem with using grease as a feedstock is that it is made up of free fatty acids which can hinder biodiesel production, something the chemistry professors at the university were looking at in more detail.