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For Immediate Release:  November 3, 2006


HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has released a report entitled “Biodiesel Crop Implementation in Hawaii,” which studied three possible scenarios for biodiesel production specific to Hawaii.  The 89-page report outlines the potential for future biodiesel production to expand agricultural development and decrease the stateÂ’s dependency on imported petroleum.  The report was contracted by HDOAÂ’s Agricultural Resource Management Division and prepared by the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center.

“This study lays the foundation for further research into the potential of biodiesel crops as successful new agricultural industry,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, chairperson of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.  “If biodiesel can be developed, it will not only bolster agriculture, but also address our need to decrease our dependency on petroleum-based fuels. 

Using information that is currently available, the study concludes that, over time, it is reasonable to expect that Hawaii could produce enough agricultural biodiesel to reduce imported diesel by 20 percent.  The study also estimates that Hawaii could potentially produce more than 150 million gallons of biodiesel per year, which is equivalent to 55 percent of the total diesel usage in the State for 2004.

The report contains information on potential locations for future biodiesel crop production, identification of potential oilseed bearing crops, and production and processing capabilities on each island.  Potential biodiesel crops explored in the report include soybean, flax, rapeseed, sunflower, peanut, African oil palm, kukui nut, avocado, coconut, neem tree, algae, and other crops.

The report also recognizes that research and development may take five to 10 years in order to determine the best crops and locations for crop production.  Small-scale processing facilities will also need to be established to process the raw materials into useable fuels.

The benefits of biodiesel fuels include reducing the dependency on petroleum-based fuels, reduced emissions of greenhouse gases.  In addition, some of the more resilient crops studied may be able to utilize agricultural lands that are currently marginally productive.

To view the full report, click here.