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PCC receives mini-grant

Published Thursday, August 4, 2011
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Piedmont Community College (PCC) has received a mini-grant from the Greenforce Initiative to assist a PCC faculty member in receiving training on procedures for testing the purity of biodiesel and ethanol products.  

Students in PCC’s Laboratory Technology, Biotechnology and BioWork programs receive training in the production of biodiesel and ethanol fuels as part of the College’s “green” initiatives. A new component for testing the fuels’ purity will be incorporated into those programs following PCC instructor Randy Durren’s completion of training for using the FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) spectography. That training will be held at the Shimadzu FTIR training conference in Columbia, MD. The Greenforce Initiative mini-grant will assist with Durren’s training expenses.  

In addition to the three on-campus programs he teaches, Durren also will offer free classes on making and testing biodiesel fuels through PCC’s Business Development and Entrepreneurship Center (BDEC). As a result, people who complete the training will be able to create fuels that can be used safely in their own systems.  

PCC already owns the testing equipment that it will begin using to teach biofuel testing applications using the FTIR. The training will improve graduates’ marketability in their job searches and will provide campus users of PCC’s biodiesel reactor methods for testing of their biodiesel and ethanol products.   Greenforce Initiative is the collective reference for a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and Jobs for the Future, funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.  

For more information about PCC’s Laboratory Technology, Biotechnology or BioWork programs, contact Randy Durren at PCC at (336) 599-1181 or durrenr@piedmontcc.edu.