For almost forty years the Renewable Resources Research Laboratory (R3Lab) has been a test-bed for the development of innovative processes that convert biomass into fuels, high-value chemicals, and other products. A consistent theme of the lab's research throughout its history has been the search for new uses for Hawaii's abundant agricultural crops and by-products. During its first three decades the R3Lab was active in the fields of biomass pyrolysis, chemical reactions and biomass gasification in supercritical water, pretreatments related to ethanol production by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass, synthesis of activated carbons, and carbon fuel cells. Research during the past decade emphasized the efficient carbonization of biomass via the UH-patented Flash-CarbonizationTM process, and the development of a low-temperature carbon fuel cell. Radical improvements and modeling of the Flash-Carbonization™ process are the current focus of the R3Lab’s research activities.