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Monthly Archives: November 2012
The News & Observer (http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/11/28/2512791/asu-faculty-administrators-clash.html) reports today on a controversy involving the Appalachian State administration and a tenured Sociology professor:
The White House announced yesterday that President Obama has appointed N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr., to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
The board is part of the U.S. Agency for International Development. It advises the agency on agriculture and higher education issues regarding food insecurity in developing countries.
The School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T is addressing international food security issues in a number of ways. Among them are these two research projects:
- Dr. Manuel Reyes is introducing conservation agriculture techniques to farmers in Cambodia and the Philippines (more information: Evolution magazine, Spring 2011, Page 19).
- Dr. Lijun Wang and Dr. Abolghasem Shahbazi are among the leaders of the university’s new NSF CREST Bioenergy Center, which is developing the technology to produce biofuels more efficiently from non-food stock (Bioenergy Center website; Re:search magazine, Page 4).
Some government agencies and businesses aren’t waiting for the energy industry to start delivering on the promise of biofuels. Increasingly, in North Carolina and other states, they’re moving ahead on their own.
Their progress will be the subject of the second annual statewide conference on civic and small-scale biofuel projects, to be held next month at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.
The event is organized by the Biofuels Center of North Carolina and is hosted by N.C. A&T and the Joint School. It will feature talks and case studies on smaller-scale biofuel and biomass production projects operating in North Carolina (including Charlotte, Hickory, and Raleigh), Florida, and Alabama.
Speakers will include officials of state and local government agencies, the private sector, and universities.
The conference will be held Thursday December 13, beginning at 10 a.m. It will conclude with a 3 p.m. tour of biofuel and bioproduct research and development projects at the JSNN. There is no fee to attend. Registration information and the full agenda are at the conference website.
The full title of the event is “Civic and Small-scale Biofuels Statewide: A Second Annual Convening of Civic, Production, and Agency Parties.”
Worth noting: Some places aren’t quite ready to move on such opportunities. A local case in point is reported in today’s edition of the News & Record.
An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has launched a five-year, $5 million project to make the production of advanced biofuels more efficient and affordable.
The NSF CREST Bioenergy Center’s goal is to make biomass a more viable source of renewable energy by developing the basic science and technology that will make energy conversions more efficient and costs more affordable.
The center is conducting fundamental research toward the development of advanced thermochemical biomass conversion technology to produce liquid transportation fuels and hydrogen.
The project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program.
The center’s research will specifically target the production of high quality synthesis gas from biomass gasification, nanocatalysts for the conversion of syngas to bioethanol, and the production of high purity hydrogen for fuel cell applications.