Lister Engine Forum

Alternative fuels => Straight Vegetable Oil => Topic started by: Guy_Incognito on September 24, 2006, 10:32:54 PM

Title: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: Guy_Incognito on September 24, 2006, 10:32:54 PM
Anyone seen these about? Google for it.

A guy nearby is importing them and is going to sell seedlings at $4 a pop.
It would be a perfectly suited to the block I've got - high rainfall (3800mm/yr) tropical temps.
After 7-10 years, a hole is drilled in the trunk and the oil is tapped off.
Yields after they mature is in the order of 40-60 litres a tree a year for , well, the life of the tree - 70 years or so.

Apparently it burns pretty well as is, but doesn't store too good, but you can just leave it in the tree if you don't need it.
A dozen of those scattered around the block would pretty much cover my modest annual diesel usage once they mature.
Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: t19 on September 25, 2006, 04:13:46 AM
I wish they would grow in Ontario :D

Produces fuel... and when they stop, you can harvest the wood for furnature making.... So why is South America so poor?
Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: Guy_Incognito on September 27, 2006, 03:57:28 AM
I dunno, but I'll get a dozen and let you know how they go in 10 years time  ;)

If they yield reasonably well (say, 50L / yr / tree ) that's 600 litres a year from a dozen mature trees scattered around the place.
Working backwards from that, that'd be 3 or 4 hours of listeroid running a week, which is conveniently close to what I'll probably need to keep the batteries for my solar setup charged.
Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: oldnslow on September 28, 2006, 02:23:33 AM
Does the seller tell you the genus and species of the tree? Copaifera langsdorfii may be it but the one in Brazil is  Copaiba i think. Even the Jatropha is referred to by some as "diesel tree". I would be interested in trying to grow some of these as an alternative to the Chinese tallow tree. What state are you in? I am in Florida. I may be in a climate zone where these can grow. Thanks.
Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: Guy_Incognito on September 28, 2006, 04:49:49 AM
Well, I live in Queensland, Australia, so comparing climates might be a bit tricky.

But the guy importing them here lives in a region that would be defined as semi-tropical, top max temps of about 34 degrees C, lower temps of about 4 or 5 degrees C, rainfall is about 1200mm / year. I did find this snippet:


Probably ranging from Subtropical Dry to Wet through Tropical Dry to Wet Forest Life Zones, this copaiba probably tolerates annual precipitation of 10 to 40 dm, annual temperature of 20 to 27°C (with no frost), and pH of 4.5 to 7.5. Early USDA publications suggest that most copaiba comes from regions with annual precipitation of 3500 mm or more and annual temperature ca 27°C.

Googling about seems to indicate Copaiba and Copaifera are generally synonyms, but there are three sub-species - Officinalis, Langsdorfii and Reticulata .

Hope he's importing the right one. Or the one that makes the most amount of oil :D

I'll give him a ring tomorrow and see what he says.
Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: Doug on September 28, 2006, 07:17:43 PM
I wish someone would bread a scotch tree......

Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: twombo on September 29, 2006, 04:43:42 AM
Reminds me of a dearly departed 21 year old bottle of Macallan I got in San Marino 10 years ago. As I recall I was getting 106 dollars aday perdiem and used up the best part of a days eating money for the bottle. I capped off a number of fly fishing excursions before it's untimely demise. Best Damn scotch I EVER had... bar none! I still have  bottle, and just sniff it once in a while to bring back memories!!


Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: hotater on October 03, 2006, 03:56:48 AM
Try Bowmore 10 year old...a lot the same as the Mccallan.

I thought the "Diesel Tree" had nuts that had to be milled for the oil....and they don't store well and the oil has to be stored air-free, but it still has a short shelf life....or is that another one?   ???
Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: Guy_Incognito on October 03, 2006, 05:24:33 PM
I know the one you're talking about hotater , but I can't recall the name. Palm oil tree perhaps?

In these trees that I'm talking about , they store the oil in capilliary tubes in the trunk and you drill into the tree to drain the oil out. Similar to tapping rubber trees.

Shelf life once removed from the tree is a couple of months, but you can just leave it in there.
Title: Re: "Diesel Tree"
Post by: fattywagonman on March 09, 2007, 04:48:48 AM
That the oleoresin called copaiba could be obtained by incising the trunk was first reported in England in 1625, in a work published by Purchas, "...a single tree is said to yield about 40 litres." (Grieve, 1931, reprinted 1974). Quoting nobel-laureate Calvin, Maugh says (1979), "Natives ... drill a 5 centimeter hole into the 1-meter thick trunk and put a bung into it. Every 6 months or so, they remove the bung and collect 15 to 20 liters of the hydrocarbon. Since there are few Rabbit diesels in the jungle, the natives use the hydrocarbon as an emollient and for other nonenergy-related purposes. But tests have shown, he says, that the liquid can be placed directly in the fuel tank of a diesel-powered car." (Maugh, 1976). The copal is used in lacquers, massage preparations, medicines, and paints. Wood and resin can be used for fuel. The wood is used in carpentry (Burkart, 1943).

Although not specifically recommended as a firewood, the balsamiferouswood, with density of 700-900 kg/m3, should burn readily, perhaps even when green. Calvin (1980) reports yields of 40 liters of hydrocarbon per tree per year, which can be "used directly by a diesel-powered car." Calvin sent a sample to Mobil Corporation to obtain a cracking pattern. "It produces the same kind of mixture in general as the oil from the E. lathyris [mostly aromatics (50%), LPG (25%), and low-molecular-weight fuel gas (3 to 4%) and coke]." (Calvin, 1980). In his seminar at Beltsville, Calvin (1982) seems to favor the terpenes of Copaifera to those of Euphorbia and hopes, by somatic hybridization to develop a Euphorbia, suitable for our climates, which will produce the sesquiterpenes. Apparently N-fixation has not been reported for this species.