This Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) project has received funding, over the past ten years and more, from the National Science Foundation, US Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research, and several industrial sponsors. The project has resulted in the invention and development of a new technology for the production of bioplastics and bio-oil from renewable feedstocks. Such feedstocks have included food processing by-products and cellulosic biomass.
Finding appropriate catalysts and feedstock hydrolysis techniques,
Obtaining useful microbial strains for industrial process conditions,
Scaling-up processes for pilot-scale production of bioplastics and bio-oil, and
Performing economic evaluation for commercial production.
The primary HNEI contact is Jian Yu. Results have included numerous publications obtainable from Dr. Yu. Two patents have been granted and one is pending. For details on this project, see the Bio-Based Plastics and Hydrocarbon Oils pdf document. Other work of interest can be seen by referring to the Bio-Oils (overview) section of our website. For further information on researchers and other HNEI research activities related to these efforts, see the Biomass, Bio-Renewable Resources, and Biotechnology research sections of our website.