BASALT  FIBER  MANUFACTURING

SUSTAINABLE  CONSTRUCTION  MATERIAL

Hawaii’s volcanic basalt can be processed to create a durable product called Continuous Basalt Fiber (CBF). Similar to carbon fiber and fiberglass, CBF can be used to make flame-retardant fabrics, rebar and other materials without any additives. 

PISCES has been working with Hawaiian basalt as a feedstock for ISRU (in-situ resource utilization) to create sustainable products on Earth and in space. Hawaii’s basalt meets the specific chemical profile needed to manufacture CBF—a material with high tensile strength that is resistant to corrosion and heat. Globally, CBF manufacturing is valued at around $100 million and expected to double in the coming decade.

 

MARKET FEASIBILITY STUDY

In 2017, PISCES contracted a state-funded market feasibility study to determine the viability of a CBF manufacturing operation on Hawaii Island. Completed by defense and aerospace consulting firm SMA in March 2018, the report showed: 

  • the current global market demand for CBF;
  • manufacturing capabilities throughout the world;
  • the average market price for CBF products;
  • the estimated cost to build and operate a CBF plant on Hawaii Island;
  • a business model to operate a CBF facility;
  • the estimated cost comparison between CBF manufactured in Hawaii and other places in the world;
  • and the potential number of jobs and wages a facility would provide.

To request a copy of the completed study, please contact us at dbedt.pisces@hawaii.gov.