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ACC Clean Energy Challenge Announces Elite Eight Plus Two, Will Vie to Reach Final Four

COLLEGE PARK, Md., April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge, a business plan competition supported by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) encouraging students from universities in the southeastern United States to develop business plans for new clean energy companies, today announces its Elite Eight Plus Two, eight winners from ACC schools and two winners from the at-large non-ACC pool of entrants. 


The Elite Eight Plus Two will compete first to advance to the Final Four and then for a $100,000 grand prize at the $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge Finals, held at North Carolina State University on April 9, 2013. The winner also will move on to compete in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals in Washington, D.C., in summer 2013.

The ACC Elite Eight Plus Two, listed after the technologies they are developing, include:

  • Clemson University: Brewcovery - Developing bio-separations and bio-digestion processes to recover and refine value-added co-products from the bio-based food industry and brewery waste.
  • Duke University: Refrakt - Developing portable membrane distillation technology for industrial operations to provide wastewater treatment and reuse solutions.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology: Sidewinder Thermal Management - Developing a technology to recycle heat from home appliances and convert it to electricity using thermoelectric heat exchangers.
  • North Carolina A&T University: Bioadhesive Alliance - Developing a bio-based adhesive that is green, low-cost and durable, and can be used as a substitute to petroleum-based asphalt binder.
  • North Carolina State University: Granular Systems -Developing a patent-pending energy analysis system for industrial and manufacturing facilities that tracks equipment performance, helps optimize operations and helps lower energy usage.
  • University of Maryland: Advanced Heliostats - Developing advanced, lower cost heliostats for concentrated solar power developers.
  • University of Miami: UM Waste to Energy Project -Developing technologies to use food waste to produce biogas, fertilizers, electricity, heat and micro algae in a carbon-neutral and sustainable way, while reducing costs for waste removal and fertilizers for landscaping.
  • University of South Florida: Trash 2 Cash-Energy - Developing landfill gas-to-liquid technologies for fuel generation.
  • University of Virginia: Biofuel Ecosystems - Developing technologies for cost-effective algae fuel production.
  • Wake Forest University: CarboCatalyst - Developing technologies to convert low-grade vegetable and animal oils into biofuels.

The 2013 Clean Energy Challenge Finals are hosted by North Carolina State University in partnership with Duke University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and the University of Maryland. 

The finals will also feature a Clean Energy Expo with ACC Clean Energy Challenge semi-finalists and clean tech industry partners, as well as an expert panel discussion on "Entrepreneurship: From Seed to Start-Up to Seasoned Enterprise," moderated by Lee Anne Nance , Senior Vice President, Research Triangle Region.

As part of the Obama Administration's effort to support and empower the next generation of American clean energy entrepreneurs, the Department of Energy awarded $360,000 in 2011 for the ACC Clean Energy Challenge and a total of $2 million to the ACC and five additional regions in the U.S. as part of its inaugural nationwide network of student-focused clean energy business plan competitions over the next three years.

Additional regional winners included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Northeast Region; the California Institute of Technology in the Western Region; Rice University in the Western Southwest Region; Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust in the Eastern Midwest Region; and the University of Colorado in the Western Midwest Region.

The University of Maryland's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) was selected as the principal lead for the Southeast competition.

For more information, visit:

About the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Learn more about DOE's efforts to promote a new generation of energy entrepreneurs at:

SOURCE Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute
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