A $130,000 grant from The Biofuels Center of North Carolina is providing seed money aimed at developing the clean energy industry in Western North Carolina. The Field to Fryer to Fuel project, led by AdvantageWest, will pilot a new business model for the production of biodiesel from locally grown feed stocks. The goal is to reduce the region’s dependence on imported fuels. The project has also received $64,000 in federal economic development funds.
For the pilot program, 60 acres of canola have been planted at Biltmore Estate — one of several project partners — that will be pressed into food-grade oil for area restaurants. The used fryer oil will then be converted to biofuel for motor vehicles and home heating.