HONOLULU – Today at Oceanic Institute, U.S. EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Air Division Director Deborah Jordan announced $100,000 in federal funding to Honolulu Clean Cities as part of the West Coast Collaborative Campaign.

The Biodiesel from Fuel Crops in Hawaii project will explore and evaluate a number of crop materials currently grown in Hawaii to determine their suitability for producing biodiesel. The project is led by Honolulu Clean Cities with partners Pacific Biodiesel, Aloha Green, University of Hawaii Hilo, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Grace Pacific, and Oceanic Institute.

The project will evaluate crop properties, feasibility of oil extraction, oil properties, and biodiesel manufacturing limitations. The environmental benefits of biodiesel fuel use are well documented as a cleaner-burning, safe and easy-to-use renewable fuel.

The information gathered from the project will be valuable for identifying those crops already growing in Hawaii that might have the greatest potential to support large scale biodiesel production in Hawaii, said Jordan. The ultimate goal is reducing Hawaii’s dependence on imported petroleum fuels and reducing diesel emissions throughout the state.

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

Successful extraction of various crop oils acceptable for use in locally produced biodiesel and identification of a possible high protein 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.

Generation of crop-specific emission testing data and cost data for the various materials.

The overall outcome of the project is to provide an economic model that will encourage Hawaii farmers in the production of oilseed crops and demonstrate the commercial feasibility of seed-crushing, biodiesel manufacture, and co-product processing.

The West Coast Collaborative represents a partnership between leaders from federal, state, and local government, the private sector, and environmental groups in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico committed to reducing diesel emissions along the West Coast. The collaborative seeks to leverage federal funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in the most affected communities and to significantly improve air quality and public health. For more information, please visit: https://www.westcoastcollaborative.org