Putting Ideas into Action

Sweet Potato as Fuel

Biomass Harvest

Polymer Research

Researchers are working to genetically combine industrial sweet potatoes with enzymes from the ocean floor to create an ethanol resource to diversify our nation’s energy and biofuel needs. At the same time, they’re working to reduce the operational costs of planting and harvesting sweet potatoes. North Carolina leads the nation in sweet potato production. | MORE 
 Record oil prices and the threat of global warming have stirred efforts across the nation to develop practical, renewable energy sources. At NC State, researchers survey the state’s 18 million acres of forest and nine million acres of farmland and see a wealth of biomass – the organic material from plants and animals that can be converted into energy. | MORE  
Using a special polymer (plastic material), NC State researchers created capacitors that store up to seven times more energy than those currently in use. New ultrafast batteries hold the potential to give electric cars the same acceleration capability as their gas-powered counterparts. | MORE 



Soda Bottle Innovation

Energy & Emissions


In 2007, NC State licensed a process called Centia to Diversified Energy Corporation.  Centia is a green method of turning virtually any fat source – animal fats, waste greases, agricultural oils, etc. – into fuel. | MORE 

 A Soda Bottle is a Soda Bottle is a Soda Bottle . . .
Chemical engineers at NC State have developed a more efficient way to chemically recycle your soda bottles back into new ones. Most beverage bottles collected for recycling are reprocessed into non-food products such as fiber and strapping. Only a small percentage of beverage bottles are reprocessed into food-grade PET, or plastic packaging, including beverage bottles. | MORE 
For more than 10 years, researchers at NC State have used portable instruments to measure the real-world activity, energy consumption, and air-pollutant emissions of vehicles ranging from compact sedans to railroad locomotives. These measurements are used to quantify the effect of vehicle technology, operator behavior, traffic control, and alternative fuels on energy use and emissions. This data provides realistic insight regarding effective strategies for reducing energy use and emissions. | MORE (From Results) | Additional Content (From Results) 


Hurricane Prediction

Woody Biomass

NC State scientists have found a new and accurate method for predicting hurricanes using sea surface temperatures. Researchers continue to work on refining this model to make more location-specific predictions. | MORE 

Researchers at NC State are testing a machine that harvests small-diameter woody biomass for use as feedstock for electrical power generation. The biomass harvester also makes the forest less prone to wild fires and helps restore endangered species. | MORE