14 July 2014--The first half of 2014 was a period of significant successes on the East Coast relating to the "Farm to Fly 2.0" (F2F2) initiative, an agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue to work together to advance the use of renewable fuels in the aviation industry. Three projects in Vermont and South Carolina have received particular media attention over the last week. Projects in both states are funded by the USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG).
In Vermont, GSR Solutions President Anju Dahiya and her team released the RBEG outcomes of a fuel conversion project at a dairy farm site—Nordic Farms—in Charlotte, Vermont. The results were announced to USDA, State Government and local business officials at a team meeting and press event on July 9. Feasibility study outcomes demonstrated positive yields for dairy and beer brewery waste-fed heterotrophic and mixotrophic algal biofuel compared to current production baselines. In addition, the process showed the potential for positive energy balance and the production of important granular time release nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer as a co-product to fight the local water pollution problems caused by liquid fertilizer runoff. Plans to move the project into a pilot phase were also released. The event was covered by the local NBC affiliate, the VT Digger, and Vermont Public Radio.
In addition, two South Carolina projects recently received RBEGs to assess the feasibility of woody biomass based biofuels (in Clarendon County) and algae based biofuels (in Colleton County). The acceptance of these two projects was publicized in a July 9 announcement. Both projects are centered on South Carolina's I-95 corridor, a major target for economic development.