Pacific Biodiesel

renewable ∑ sustainable ∑ community-based

Biodiesel Beakers
Pacific Biodiesel Newsletter
In This Issue
Green Jobs Award Announcement
International Exposure at APEC
`Aina Mo' Snails; SBIR Phase II Grant
New Grant for BIB
Sunflower Harvest; An HMBC Update
New Hawaii Employees & Promotions
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   November, 2011

Recently a relatively new employee shared with me that she had been approached by a representative of a Hawaii investment group who said they were extremely impressed with all that Pacific Biodiesel has been doing. My response was "so am I!" It's amazing to see the progress we have made since that first batch of biodiesel, from one employee in 1996 to a current Hawaii count of 36 employees and almost twice that many in our mainland affiliates.    

Kelly King, Vice-President,
Pacific Biodiesel


I called her "relatively new," but it sure feels like Beth Mathias has been with PBI much longer. A personification of our recent growth, she advanced in one year from Marketing Assistant to Marketing Director to Director of Sales & Marketing. Today, I don't know how we functioned before without her!


Along with Beth's progression,

in this newsletter we will be announcing more promotions, new position hires and interns, along with progress on key projects. As is true for most small businesses, every new project results in new jobs, and PBI has created over 100 additional jobs in Hawaii in addition to our regular employees. (Big Island Biodiesel alone has thus far tallied at least 85 construction jobs!)


At a time of such widespread uncertainty, it is both exhilarating and humbling to be able to contribute to America's clean energy future by providing quality green jobs. And, as you will see in the first article of this newsletter, it is also rewarding!


Creating Jobs, Fueling the Economy

Announcing Pacific Biodiesel's 2011 Green Jobs Award

Growing exponentially but holding firm to our mission of sustainability, Pacific Biodiesel is proud to one of eight companies nationwide to receive the 2011 Green Jobs Award. This national award recognizes companies that are leaders in quality green job creation. The program contributes to defining 'green jobs' and confirms the reality of green job creation while inspiring entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and the public.

 Green Jobs Award
In the past year Pacific Biodiesel has added 10 new staff positions and our new project, Big Island Biodiesel, created 85 construction jobs. We are excited to be growing and supporting more and more families with jobs that are fulfilling, dynamic and making a difference in our communities and our nation.
Along with the recognition and media exposure, the award also includes pro bono business services. PB Chief Financial Officer Kim Vanderlaan, will be accepting this great honor on behalf of all our employees at the Citi Executive Conference Center in New York on Thursday, November 10, 2011.


Hawaii booth displayed for international leaders


When the Asia Pacific leaders converge on Honolulu this week they will be met with more than the bright Hawaiian sun, but also the bright Hawaiian future in technology. SEE-IT (Scientific Engineering Exposition, Innovative Technologies) with the mission, "To inspire passion for science, engineering and technology,"has secured exhibit space in the Hawaii Convention Center to highlight the State's innovative technology opportunities.

A New Graphic for Our SEE-IT Booth

The exhibition will receive exposure to APEC leaders as well as international media and will demonstrate areas of technology where Hawaii is a leader. Along with Pacific Biodiesel, there will be about 20 booths with other exhibits including the University of Hawaii, Avatar Reality, NOAA National Weather Service, International Space Center, Natural Power Concepts, and more.

Pacific Biodiesel was also named as a finalist in the Hawaii Business Innovation Showcase competition which identified six Maui companies to highlight for the APEC 2011 Leaders' Week.

Maui Business Innovation Award winners with Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and Governor Neil Abercrombie  


 SBIR Phase II Grant Funded

Taro Farmers on Maui may soon be saying, "`Aina Mo' snails!"


Phase II of the `Aina Mo' SBIR grant project has been funded, and Pacific Biodiesel will soon begin the long-awaited second-tier lab tests and taro field trials that will prove the soil amendment is environmentally friendly, even if it is not so nice to apple snails, a major pest of wetland taro.


In Phase I, Pacific Biodiesel, working with contractor Oceanic Institute, found that using the right combination of organic liquids made from the glycerin waste produced by our biodiesel processing plants will nourish the soil and attack the snails at the same time. The by-product is entirely organic and also acts as a soil conditioner. `Aina Mo' (short for `šina momona' meaning fertile land) could become a significant asset to taro farmers and add value to PB's glycerin waste.


In Phase II of the research, PB plans to discover the perfect 'recipe' of the formula and test it in selected Keanae taro fields over a one-year period. Penny Levin, a restoration ecologist, conservation planner and part-time taro farmer, has been named the Project Director. The two-year study will involve local taro growers, researchers and, we hope, Maui students. 

Grant Secured for Big Island Biodiesel
Zero-Waste Technology
High-vacuum distillation process for new plant will lead the industry 


With Big Island Biodiesel (BIB) under full construction, Pacific Biodiesel's 15-year experience culminates in a refinery unmatched in technology and efficiency by any similar sized biodiesel facility in the world. A grant of $1 million from the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (HREDV) helped fund the installation of a specially designed high-vacuum distillation system. This new technology will enable BIB to process many degraded and agriculturally-diverse feedstocks into higher quality fuel.


The new plant will also process all by-products into valuable co-products to be either reused or marketed locally. Methanol recovery will reduce the amount of inputs into the process and the glycerin will be processed to crude grade for and/or use in applications which are currently being researched (see next article). For more information  click here.

BIB Construction

 Big Island Biodiesel's Kea'au construction site 

Seeds of Change

First harvest of Hawaii Biofuel Crop Project yields promising results       


Part of a federally funded military energy security project, Hawaii's first cultivated biofuel crop test plots were harvested in Waialua in October. Hundreds of pounds of sunflower and safflower seeds were collected from the belly of the harvesting combine and stored in large super sacks for transport to the crushing machine.


Project Manager Matt Johnson was skeptical at first about the yield of the sunflower plot because of loss from birds eating the seeds, estimating roughly 50% of the yield was eaten. However, he and Farm Manager Dan Rudoy hope to use new methods to meet the challenge in the next expanded planting scheduled for February 2012.


Unfortunately the crushing machine faltered after producing about 20 lbs of oil and was under repair until mid last week. The final crushing tally was about 50 lbs of oil from this first small test plot. Stay tuned for the full results of Matt's first crush!

Pacific Biodiesel and invited guests at Waialua site 

L-R:  Matt Johnson, PB Project Manager;  Diane Ley, USDA;  Bob & Kelly King, President and Vice-President, Pacific Biodiesel, Beth Mathias, Marketing Director, Pacific Biodiesel; Warren Bollmeier, Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance; Dan Rudoy, PB Farm Manager;  Steve Petersen, USDA Farm Service Agency, David Zuckerman, Army Installation Management Command- Pacific and Asia Yeary of the EPA.

Sweet 16
Announcing New Employees and Promotions

As Pacific Biodiesel embarks on our 16th year of biodiesel production, we're just like any other teenager, growing rapidly and figuring out how to deal with so many changes. The Green Jobs Award marks a milestone in our success story and we are excited to be recognized for our greatest asset - the employee whose dedication, commitment and talent helps us surmount the many challenges in the biodiesel industry.  Pacific Biodiesel happily announces the recent promotions, new hires and internships within the Hawaii operation:



* After 11 years as Oahu Plant Manager for Pacific Biodiesel, George Aiwohi has been promoted to Hawaii Operations Manager, and will be learning the finer details from Larry Zolezzi as he readies for retirement.

Beth Mathias has been promoted to Director, Sales & Marketing overseeing both restaurant account sales for the Cleanway division and Fuel Sales for Pacific Biodiesel.

* Dino Mariani will be making the move from the Maui plant to the Hobron office, where he will be assisting with the day-to-day operations.

* In addition to her role as Fuel Sales Manager, Jenna Long, now based in Hilo, has taken on new responsibilities as Cleanway Sales Representative for the Big Island. 


New Employees

* The sales and marketing team welcomes the addition of Joel Martin as our Marketing Associate on Oahu and Rob Robinson, Cleanway Sales Representative on Maui.

*Penny Levin has joined the Pacific Biodiesel team as Project Director for Aina Mo, our SBIR funded project highlighted in the article above.

* The Cleanway service team is growing by leaps and bounds. Drivers Armando Laronal and Randall Algona have joined the Oahu team, Maui welcomes Jason Bedard, and the Big Island has added a 2nd driver, Randall Fontes, to keep up with its growing list of customers.

* Alex Pantorilla has joined PB on a part time basis for truck maintenance at the Hobron facility.

* Last, but certainly not least is Don Caffee, Plant Manager for Big Island Biodiesel, who will be responsible for adding even more green jobs when he begins the hiring process for the BIB plant team.



University of Hawaii-Maui College interns, Maureen Murphy and Josh Sommers are putting in time at Pacific Biodiesel this semester as they each work toward a bachelor of applied science degree in Sustainable Science Management. Maureen is assisting in the Marketing Department, while Josh is learning from plant manager Jason Imamura at the Maui Refinery.




Headquartered in Kahului, Hawaii, Pacific Biodiesel, Inc. was conceived in 1995 as a response to local concerns over unmanageable quantities of waste cooking oil being dumped at the Central Maui Landfill.  Since opening and operating the very first retail biodiesel pump in America, Pacific Biodiesel has built a solid reputation as a leading pioneer in the rapidly expanding biodiesel industry. Its technology division, Pacific Biodiesel Technologies in Salem, Oregon, has designed and built biodiesel plants from Hawaii to Maryland. 
PBI is committed to the community-based biodiesel model and to our mission of promoting a clean, sustainable energy future through local production of renewable fuels.  For more information, please visit our website or contact Beth Mathias at