University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Development of An Economic and Efficient Biodiesel Production Process





The goals of this project are to advance the production and promote the use of biodiesel fuels in North Carolina.  The objectives of this project are to develop an innovative technology for cost effective biodiesel production and to educate farmers and rural communities in southeastern North Carolina about biofuels opportunities. 


Expected Outcomes

This project will:

(1)       Yield a cost effective means of biodiesel production from alternative feedstock.

(2)       Encourage regional farmers to grow alternative crops for biofuels production.

(3)       Contribute to the development of Robeson County, which is an economically disadvantaged region.

(4)       Engage a significant number of Native American and African American farmers and students in crop conversion methods, while increasing UNCP and NCA&TŐs capacities as regional resources for energy technology development.




The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) is carrying out a research project aimed at developing an efficient process to produce biodiesel.  Completion of this goal will align with the Biomass Program objectives since it will make the cost of biofuels competitive with petroleum-based fuel for the farmers who are growing their own fuel stock, and help create an environment conducive to maximizing production and use of biofuels.  In this project, the team will develop and test various types of heterogeneous catalysts that could replace the conventionally used soluble potassium hydroxide catalyst which must be separated and disposed of at the end of the process.  Using a heterogeneous catalyst will also allow for the prompt separation and purification of the byproduct glycerol.