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Author Topic: Home grown bio-diesel  (Read 8122 times)
clivejo
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« on: April 20, 2012, 08:28:54 PM »

Bar oil seed rape, are there any other plants/trees which will grow in our climate, for a source of bio-diesel.  I have been reading about the diesel tree (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copaifera_langsdorffii) and wondered if there are any trees like that which could be grown here?
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guydewdney
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 08:56:02 PM »

rape? sunflower?
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SteveH
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 10:18:51 PM »

 Rape is the best bet, Sunflower works south of the midlands as well...
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mike-b-
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 10:49:45 AM »

hi i was at my cousins at the weekend and i told him i run on veg oil mix in my truck ( i was anglinng for some cheap oil ) . i dont see him that often as we move in diffrent social circles ie he is loaded and is high up in a palm oil comp in l,pool . apparently dont know if its true .in mexico they trialed a plant that would grow on difficult and poor soil conditions /land . but the food prices went up as the farmers where planting it on arable land .which doubled the price of tortias . as i say apparently it might need some investigation .

mike
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 11:07:27 AM »

Are you hoping to add to your self-sufficiency tally? Makes sense to grow and press rapeseed to sell to a good restaurant then use the 'waste' as the basis for your fuel. Growing a crop to use directly as fuel makes little sense.
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clivejo
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 12:33:23 PM »

Are you hoping to add to your self-sufficiency tally? Makes sense to grow and press rapeseed to sell to a good restaurant then use the 'waste' as the basis for your fuel. Growing a crop to use directly as fuel makes little sense.

Well that's a matter of opinion.  There's a lot in this world doesn't make any sense.  As fuel prices creep up and up, we'll soon see what makes sense!  Money tends to make sense go out the window! 

If there is a tree that can make 30 to 53 litres of 'oil' a year, then Id like to know more about it.  How does it do it?  What are the processes involved?  There is always a better way to do something, we just need to learn how.

Agriculture is extremely fuel reliant, and is heavy subsidised in the UK.  But even with no tax on 'red diesel' the price is still increasing hugely(approx 73p/litre, compared to 24p/litre ten years ago).  This in turn is added to the cost of the food you buy in shops.  Its a hidden system no-one thinks about.  If the farmers had a fuel cut during crop season, I think you would suddenly find a lot of people taking an interest!
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Countrypaul
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 06:14:16 PM »

One obvious tree is an olive tree, others would be the various nuts, like hazel, almond etc. The yields per hectare from these are pittifully low iirc.

Is the tree you were thinking of in Mexico Jatropha?

Paul
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clivejo
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 10:00:17 PM »

Its commonly called the Diesel Tree, but needs topical weather.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copaifera_langsdorffii
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renewablejohn
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 10:17:26 PM »

Turpentine is easily derived from various softwoods and harvested like rubber trees.
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clivejo
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 11:39:09 PM »

Turpentine is easily derived from various softwoods and harvested like rubber trees.

Know any that will grow in Irish climate?!?
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 07:54:25 AM »

Can I ask for comparison purposes, when Wiki says those 'diesel' trees can produce 10,000 litres of bio-diesel per hectare pa, how does that compare to oil rape, or similar?

Mart.
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renewablejohn
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 08:42:28 AM »

Turpentine is easily derived from various softwoods and harvested like rubber trees.

Know any that will grow in Irish climate?!?

European Larch will probably be the most common found in Ireland but Canada Balsam should grow well having a similar climate.
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Countrypaul
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 11:26:10 AM »

iirc Palm yields about 4.5t/ha (4T of Palm and .5T of palm kernel), and oil seed rape about 1.2T/ha of oil. Not sure how long a Palm tree needs before it gives any yield, but obviously Oil Seed Rape is an annual harvest.

The diesel tree needs about 15-20 years before anything can be harvested so is obviously a much longer term proposition. Not sure that the product of the diesel tree will be legal for on the road use in the UK, as it does not appear to be >96% ester content.

Paul
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stephendv
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 12:52:32 PM »

A nice advantage of oil seed rape is that it can support a number of bee colonies too, which is some good extra income.
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 02:02:54 PM »

Well that's a matter of opinion.  There's a lot in this world doesn't make any sense.  As fuel prices creep up and up, we'll soon see what makes sense!  Money tends to make sense go out the window!  

Of course, but wouldn't it make more sense to sell/barter your oil to a restaurant (providing sufficient people were still eating out) then use the oil as fuel? It works just as well having been through fryers, you just need to allow gravity to settle out the particles and any fats before filtering - and ensure the oil is quite dry. Good restaurants change their oil frequently and there is rarely much animal fat present.

I've been running on waste vegetable oils since shortly after the 2500l limit was introduced (well over 4 years) and have considered these matters quite carefully - I've found that running on renewable energy and physically carrying then drying and polishing every litre your engine will use really does focus the mind on all energy use.

If you're going to grow all your own oil then preparing the land, planting, pest and weed control then harvesting is going be very rewarding and from this thread http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2934.msg28484.html#msg28484 it looks like 700 litres would be a reasonable expectation from an acre of rapeseed. Presumably once beyond the first season some old seed can be planted for the new crop so the main cost will be paying a contractor to harvest the crop - or paying for your own machinery. The pressed oil may need degumming for use as fuel.

If I were going completely self-sufficient with regard to vehicle fuel, I'd also be looking at an electric car charged from a mill and many PVs, probably with a small on-board generator running on wood waste gas.

Once you start organising your own vehicle fuel, it soon becomes clear just how inefficient the motor car is.
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