First Large-Scale Oahu Biofuel Crops Planted

WAIALUA, Hawaii—In the first large-scale project of its kind on Oahu, three plant varieties were planted in a Waialua field Monday morning.
Pacific Bioldiesel, which has succeeding in recycling used cooking oil into vehicle fuel on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, is managing the Hawaii Military Biofuels Crop Demonstration Project. Funded by a $2.4 million military grant, the goal is to determine whether fast-growing, oil-producing plants like safflower, sunflower and camelina can produce enough biodiesel fuel to significantly reduce the military’s dependence on petroleum.

The crops should produce their first yields in a little more than three months. Researchers hope to learn the least expensive way to produce the oil crops, so that one or more can be chosen for commercial production.

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