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Pacific Biodiesel adds staff for military biofuel contract

Pacific Biodiesel has hired two executives to oversee the company’s new project to produce biofuel for the military in Hawaii.

Matt Johnson will serve as project manager and Dan Rudoy was hired as farm manager by Maui-based Pacific Biodiesel, the state’s largest producer of biofuel from waste restaurant oil and grease.

Pacific Biodiesel won a two-year federal contract to conduct research on producing biofuel from locally grown crops. The contract is with the Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center.

The project is aimed at reducing Hawaii’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

The first step in the project will be to locate suitable land to grow biofuel crops, Pacific Biodiesel said in a news release. The company will look at various sites across the state and will be contracting with consultants who have experience working with biofuel crops in similar conditions.

The company did not mention any specific crops, but a similar study launched by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2007 cited avocado, kukui nuts, palm oil, coconut, and castor beans, as possible biofuel feedstocks that could be produced in Hawaii.

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