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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Algae and Fungi for Oil Production Using Papaya, Albizia, Sugarcane Bagasse and Testing Feedstocks in Anaerobic Digesters

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 2040-21000-014-08
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 01, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

Objective:
The objectives of the research are: 1: To optimize the production of biofuels from papaya waste via the use of heterotrophic algae (Chlorella prototechoides), and characterize the oil for its potential use as biodiesel and higher grade fuel. 2: To produce biofuel from adapted oleaginous fungi that use cellulosic material from papaya and albizia wood as a carbon source. 3. To utilize biofuel in anaerobic digesters that could be adapted to the farm scale level in Hawaii.

Approach:
The proposed research falls under our broad ‘Zero Waste’ approach to make agriculture in Hawaii more profitable and address food and energy security issues in Hawaii. This project utilizes agriculture wastes and other outputs as feedstock for producing biofuel via the use of heterotrophic algae/fungi and bioenergy from anaerobic digesters. Objective 1: To optimize the production of biofuels from papaya waste via the use of heterotrophic algae (Chlorella prototechoides), and characterize the oil for its potential use as biodiesel and higher grade fuel. We will refine the production conditions, and analyze the properties of the oil and its potential usefulness for biodiesel and higher grade fuel. The algae meal will be tested as a feed for fish in a separate study. Objective 2: To produce biofuel from adapted oleaginous fungi that use cellulosic material from papaya and albizia wood as a carbon source. Our collaborator, BioTork LLC, has successfully adapted three oil producing fungi to grow crystalline cellulose and also on wood grounds of albizia (Falcataria moluccana), and on sugarcane bagasse. PBARC will optimize the conditions of these fungi to grow on cellulosic solids of papaya ,wood of albizia, and sugarcane bagasse. Objective 3. To utilize biofuel in anaerobic digesters that could be adapted to the farm scale level in Hawaii. We will focus on identifying feedstocks, and on optimizing conditions that selected microbes will efficiently digest feedstock combinations under anaerobic conditions. Some of the possible feedstocks are wastes from papaya, sweet potato, guava, waste from other fruits (lychee, longan, mango, etc.), and albizia.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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