Samir Khanal (MBBE) has recent been awarded a highly competitive grant from the Western Regional Sun Grant Center
. The $150,000 grant will focus on bioconversion of food wastes/agri-residues using black soldier fly (BSF) (Hermetia illucens
). The protein- and fat-rich BSF prepupae offer a unique opportunity to provide both aquatic feed and biofuel in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands as well as to add value to organic waste. BSF, which are found in Hawai‘i, feed on a variety of materials ranging from animal manure and agri-residues to organic wastes. The larvae can consume 25–500 mg of organic matter per larva per day and reduce the dry matter content by as much as 50%. Furthermore, larvae/prepupae consist of about 40% protein and 35% fat and can be self-harvested, thus reducing the harvesting cost.