Sunflower Biofuel Production

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Biofuels Pilot Program at The Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility Sunflowers as a Fuel Resource Mobile Biofuel Processor

Bioenergy Research Pilot Program

Biofuels Pilot Program at The Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility

The Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility, which manages waste application, received a grant to pilot a program to research biofuel production for use on municipal lands. Biofuel advances help the City and other North Carolina municipalities meet the goal of reducing petroleum fuels used in the state by 10 percent. 

Sunflowers as a Fuel Resource

Sunflower Field Dix Park

Sunflower Field Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility

Facility staff planted acres of sunflowers on effluent-irrigated land to determine if they were a viable crop for biofuel production. Through the processing of sunflower seed, along with a partnership with Piedmont Biofuels, Inc., facility staff were able to produce biodiesel. Challenges of the project include the cost of crushing the seed, lack of local processors, and transportation costs. 

Mobile Biofuel Processor

These challenges led staff to re-evaluate the pilot project. Staff decided to develop a biofuel processing unit to use for educational and demonstration purposes. Raleigh Water completed the acquisition of an operational Mobile Biofuel Processor. At first, the processor was to be in an existing building at the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility. Attention turned to a mobile processor due to escalating costs for building renovations. Raleigh Water contracted with New Earth Fabricators for the design, fabrication, and training of a mobile processor. A mobile processor allows biofuels to be produced at any location. 



Marla Dalton
Non-Discharge Superintendent


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Service Categories:
Resource RecoveryEnvironmental Services Program