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Hawaii Funding Agricultural Waste to Biofuels ProjectHawaii Funding Agricultural Waste to Biofuels Project

Allan Gerlat

August 28, 2014

1 Min Read
Hawaii Funding Agricultural Waste to Biofuels Project

Hawaii is contributing $1.6 million to a zero-waste biofuel and animal feed program in Hilo on Hawaii Island.

Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Agribusiness Development Corp. (ADC) gave the funds to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (DKI-PBARC) conversion program, which takes unmarketable papaya and other low-value agriculture waste and produces biofuel and high-protein animal feed, according to a news release.

Hilo-based DKI-PBARC and Gainesville, Fla.-based BioTork LLC have invested more than $1 million to develop the economically sustainable zero-waste conversion project. The conversion process takes less than 14 days to cycle in a heterotrophic environment, meaning no sunlight is needed. The process uses an organically optimized algae/fungi developed and patented by BioTork.

The ADC will become a venture partner to globally export the conversion technology.

The state’s $1.6 million is in addition to its initial $200,000 investment that will help DKI-PBARC move the project to demonstration scale before commercial production. “Our investment promotes further use of agricultural crops to provide clean energy and leads us on a more definitive path towards food sustainability,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “We need to focus on projects like this as Hawaii emerges as a global leader for biofuel and feed research and development.”

The state is hoping for long-term revenue as a partner with the technology. At full scale the project should employ more than 1,000.

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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