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ALOHA Feedstock for SAF: Assessing Local Organics with a Hawaiian Approach for Feedstock for Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022775
Agency Tracking Number: 0000266587
Amount: $206,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C54-07a
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-06-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-06-26
Small Business Information
519 Keolu Drive Apt A
Kailua, HI 96734
United States
DUNS: 829887491
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Marie-Joelle Simonpietri
 (808) 341-7984
Business Contact
 Marie-Joelle Simonpietri
Phone: (808) 341-7984
Research Institution

Problem being addressed: Urban greenwaste and invasive species are often listed as potential
feedstocks for sustainable aviation fuel production, and their supply can be significant in tropical areas
with year-round growing seasons, but to date their suitability as a gasification feedstock has rarely been
studied and is poorly understood. In Hawaii, these greenwaste streams can have strong community
significance, as a small but significant amount of this green waste consists of invasive species cleared
through community-led landscape restoration projects. These projects are painstaking efforts to restore
Native Hawaiian cultural sites, endangered species habitats, and watersheds by restoring the tens of
thousands of acres clear-cut for sugar cane plantations over the past century. With sugar now ended as
an industry in Hawaii, most of these lands are now over-run by invasive species.
How this problem is being addressed: We are developing an innovative integrated gasification and gas
cleanup process to convert low-quality urban lignocellulosic biomass waste into cost-competitive green
hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel. Our first commercial project would divert urban wood waste
from a landfill located within an economically disadvantaged area surrounded by native Hawaiian
Homestead lands and a high proportion of native Hawaiian residents. For this research we will focus on
invasive species and green waste as an additional potential feedstock with community benefits,
especially to native Hawaiian communities. Enough of this mixed tropical green waste is generated the
island of Oahu alone to supply up to 20% of the feed for our commercial-scale gasification plant.
Research focus for this Phase I: Our research objectives for this project include
1. Community-informed design of our SAF production plant and its upstream supply chain, with three
spirals of community stakeholder perception studies and input into the design and development of a
greenwaste feedstock collection model;
2. Feedstock analysis and pre-processing trials: Analysis of physico-chemical characteristics,
geographic frequency, volume, and variability of heterogeneous greenwaste; and physical trials to
test different collection, size reduction, and drying methods;
3. Workforce development and outreach, especially to native Hawaiian community members as this
ethnic group is historically the most under-represented in STEM career fields; and
4. Technoeconomic and community impact modeling to identify the optimal combination of
commercial viability and community benefit.
Our research partners for the stakeholder perception and community education and outreach include
the University of Hawaii and non-profit Hawaiian community and landscape restoration organizations.
Our desired outcome from this research is materials research and feedstock supply chain design that
results in more sustainable opportunities for communities to maximize economic benefits,
workforce opportunities for this under-represented group in STEM, and quality of life building
through landscape restoration support in culturally responsive ways

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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