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Contact EPA Pacific Southwest

Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Activity in Hawaii

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 $100K grant awarded to Honolulu Clean Cities for biodiesel project

On March 13, 2007, the U.S. EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Air Division granted $100,000 in federal funding to Honolulu Clean Cities for a biodiesel project, "Biodiesel from Fuel Crops in Hawaii."

The project will explore and evaluate a number of crop materials currently grown in Hawai'i to determine their suitability for producing biodiesel. The project will evaluate crop properties, feasibility of oil extraction, oil properties, biodiesel manufacturing byproducts and biodiesel manufacturing limitations.

Crop materials to be evaluated may include avocado, kukui nuts, palm oil, coconut, and castor beans. The project's main goals are:

  • Determine which crop oils are acceptable for use in locally produced biodiesel and identification of a possible useful byproduct
  • Comparative analysis of the quantity and quality of biodiesel obtained from various crop oils as opposed to waste cooking oil, as well as the evaluation of byproducts
  • Generate emission test data

The overall project goal is to provide data for an economic model that can be used to encourage Hawaii farmers to grow oilseed crops and demonstrate the feasibility of a complete biodiesel manufacturing facility, complete with byproduct processing.

The project is part of the West Coast Collaborative and is led by Honolulu Clean Cities with partners Pacific Biodiesel, Aloha Green, University of Hawaii - Hilo, College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management, Oceanic Institute, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, and Grace Pacific.

"The information gathered from the project will be valuable for identifying which crops have the greatest potential to support biodiesel production in Hawai'i," said Jordan. "The ultimate goal is reducing Hawai'i's dependence on imported petroleum fuels and reducing diesel emissions throughout the state."

Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

More information about biodiesel and reducing diesel emissions
West Coast Collaborative  Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

 Biodiesel-powered rental cars: Bio-Beetle

Photo of Bio-Beetle, with permission from Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Car

Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Car Exiting EPA (disclaimer)claims to be the first and only car rental company in the world to offer cars powered solely on 100% biodiesel. The company was founded in 2003 on the island of Maui, Hawaii. It has expanded from its rental car fleet in Maui to also include a car fleet at the Honolulu and Los Angeles (LAX) airports. The company has plans to expand further to include more U.S. locations.

Jatropha & Palm Oil-Biodiesel Feedstocks for Tropical Climates

Jatropha plant

In a tropical climate such as Hawaii, oil from the palm tree or jatropha plant may be a more suitable crop for biodiesel production than soybean oil. Using these plants as feedstock can improve the local economy by providing jobs and an energy source. Both jatropha and palm oil have a higher oil yield than most other biodiesel feedstocks. For example, the jatropha plants yield 202 gallons of oil per acre, while soybeans yield 48 gallons of oil per acre.

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EPA Administrator Visits Biodiesel Production Plant

Pacific Biodiesel
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EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson visited the Pacific Biodiesel refinery on Maui in 2006.

In February 2006, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson visited the United States' oldest continuously operating biodiesel refinery, Pacific Biodiesel. Exiting EPA (disclaimer)The administrator toured the Maui-based plant which produces approximately 200,000 gallons of biodiesel annually and diverts 5,000 tons of waste grease from the municipal landfill. Johnson discussed the growing nation-wide biodiesel trend and the future of the fuel with plant owner Robert King. The biodiesel processing plant was the first to open in the Pacific Rim and continues to operate nearly a decade later.


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