comscore Proposed Keaau facility would grow algae from papaya for feed, fuel | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Business Breaking

Proposed Keaau facility would grow algae from papaya for feed, fuel

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2012

    Farms in Hawaii could become “zero waste” if a state-funded demonstration project that would grow algae from leftover papaya proves viable.

HILO, Hawaii >> Farms in Hawaii could become “zero waste” if a state-funded demonstration project proves viable.

The state’s Agribusiness Development Corp. is proposing to build a $1.5 million facility at Shipman Business Park in Keaau that would grow algae from leftover produce, in particular, papaya. The algae could then be used for animal feed or biofuel, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday.

Ken Nakamoto, project manager, said the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center has successfully grown algae from papaya in its lab, but the state wants to see if it could be done on a larger scale.

“What we’re trying to do at our facility is take it to the next step,” Nakamoto said.

He said about 35 percent of the crops farms produce are unmarketable. He hopes this process could give them a way to make some money off what would otherwise be tossed, and make livestock feed more affordable.

“PBARC has shown it can be done in a test tube,” he said. “We are trying to show we can do it on a commercial scale.”

Nakamoto, whose agency operates under the state Department of Agriculture, said the demonstration facility would be small and sit on a lot next to the Pacific Biodiesel facility.

Construction could be done by the end of next year, according to a draft environmental assessment.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (1)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up