The Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) received $93,119 in funding from the Biofuels Center of North Carolina for a project entitled, "Utilizing Municipal Solid Waste as a Biofuel Feedstock." According to an EREF press release, the goal of the project, which will be done in collaboration with Maverick Biofuels, North Carolina State University and Waste Industries, is to determine the potential for using municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock for biofuel production by evaluating the mechanisms and infrastructure needed to make the process a viable industry in the state of North Carolina.

The project's specific objectives as identified by EREF:

  • Compare conversion of MSW into biofuels with methods currently being used to generate energy from MSW in the form of electricity or heat, such as landfill gas to energy, and waste to energy.
  • Summarize MSW management and operational infrastructure and evaluate how it can be used to support needed infrastructure for the biofuels industry.
  • Develop materials to educate the public and policymakers about the feasibility of biofuel production using MSW as a feedstock.

"The application for this project was submitted in response to interest from the EREF Board of Directors in seeking funding from non-governmental entities beyond the corporate sector," said Bryan Staley, Ph.D., EREF's president and CEO, in the press release.

"This project seeks to develop ways to utilize waste as a resource via diversion from traditional end-point means,” said Henry Saint Bris, senior vice president of strategy for Suez Environnement and Chairman of the EREF board of directors, in the release. “Because EREF's stakeholder base represents the majority of the solid waste industry, the foundation has the ability to leverage these results to support MSW to biofuel conversion technologies in North Carolina and beyond."