PBARC gets $1.6M grant


Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Thursday presented a $1.6 million check on behalf of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Develop- ment Corporation to the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center’s zero-waste biofuel and high-protein feed program on Hawaii Island.

DKI-PBARC, and Florida-based BioTork LLC, have invested more than $1 million to successfully develop an economically sustainable zero-waste conversion project producing biofuel and high-protein animal feed from unmarketable papaya and other low-value agriculture feedstock. The conversion process takes fewer than 14 days to cycle in a heterotrophic environment, meaning no sunlight is needed using organically optimized algae/fungi developed and patented by BioTork.

The state’s $1.6 million is in addition to its initial $200,000 investment that will assist DKI-PBARC in moving the Hilo-based project to demonstration scale as a prelude to commercial production.

The ADC will become a venture partner to globally export the rapid conversion technology in association with PBARC and BioTork.

 

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