Bio-based Plastics and Hydrocarbon Oils

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.

Objectives include:

  • 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 BiomassBio-Renewable Resources, and Biotechnology research sections of our website.

Bioplastics (overview)

Renewable materials such as food processing byproducts and cellulosic biomass are being used as feedstocks for production of bioplastics and bio-oils.  An HNEI researcher, Jian Yu, has developed a new technology to achieve these ends.

For more information on these efforts and the processes involved see the Bioplastics and Bio-Oil and Bio-Oils (overview) sections of our website.  For further information on the activities and researchers involved in the general subjects of bio-renewable resources and biotechnology, see the Bio-Renewable Resources and Biotechnology research sections of our website.

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