Alternative fuels > Bio-diesel Fuel

Has anyone seen/heard about this yet?

(1/3) > >>


Oil Presses



Is there anyone out there that thinks the cost of Petrol will be going down now that India and China are demanding a larger  share each year?


AE DIYers are showing considerable interest in screw presses to make their own vegetable oils. There is now considerable information on the WEB about personal oil crops and their yields. According to my Brother in Wisconsin, there is also a decent supply of used equipment that can harvest this seed and ready it for the screw press.

You'll need to do your own assessments of what you can actually do with straight veggie. I know one man who has 4000 hours of running time in Lister (CS) Type Singles using straight and properly filtered and heated veggie, the secret may be the careful monitoring of the carbon build up, and the starting and stopping on biodiesel. The plug found on the CS style head can be quickly pulled to check carbon build up, and injector spray pattern. This head is different than the head found on engines advertised as 6.5 HP Lister types like the (METEX) Metro. Exactly how the new heads work with veggie, I am not sure,  I hope my readers will report on the direct injection head, and the use of waste oils.  A must is keeping the coolant temp near 200F(place to start), and keeping all fuel lines heated with coolant water. Experienced DIYers who run veggie get used to the normal sound of combustion and can quickly hear the knock that develops when carbon builds up and raises the effective compression. When this happens, they manually clean the combustion chamber or put the engine on a diet of biodiesel, and water inject at high loads, there are additives that people swear will help control this carbon build up, but I have no personal experience with any of them.  Clean and properly filtered waste veggie can be run for about 400 to 600 hours before carbon becomes an issue, this is only a guide and starting place for your personal experimentation. Waste motor oil can create problems in only a few hours running time in direct injection engines, but I have received accounts of using this fuel in Lister CS types as well.

As of this date, I think the Lister 6/1 CS is one of the best designs to run veggie fuels in..

AE and DIYer Ken Gardner has made several trips from Montana to my Washington shop, and his Dodge Diesel Truck has a good many miles on veggie. There is a good deal of pro and con on veggie use, but I know for a fact that DIYers who are careful to set it up properly and monitor the power plant do quite well.

With all of this said, the screw type press is a simple device and has been in service for more than 100 years. Third world countries make use of smaller presses that villages or small co-ops can afford to buy and operate. Presses are sometimes rated by the number of tons of seed or beans one can press in a day, it is important to note that the seed cake is a valuable product of the pressing and this is often sold at a high price to dairy farmers and cattlemen for feed. I would imagine it would make an excellent feed stock for a good many animals.

Types of seed used in oil production are numerous, and it will be wise to identify a seed crop for your soils and region, I am sure there are dry land crops, and for those who have the rain fall or irrigation, there are probably high yield crops that could produce many gallons of veggie per acre.

Joel Koch has researched small oil presses, and has become the exclusive importer of The Mammoth brand. There may be similar screw presses for sale, but this is one that has been sold for a good many years, and they make from small to very large screw presses. Joel will be stocking a small press that will do a few tons of seed a day, it can be powered by a 5hp Briggs or similar prime mover. This will sell for a hobby price, and not take up a lot of room.

Any idea how much fuel it takes to plow, plant, weed, and harvest that much rapeseed/sunflower seed/whatever?  Nothing's fer free. . .

plow, disk, disk, drag, plant, cultivate, cultivate, cultivate, combine... unless you use round up then you spray instead of cultivate cultivate cultivate. (when you spray is determined by the crop.. if its genetically modified round up ready....)... fuel usage is dependent on the tractor used.. i had a oliver 1655 that burned about 2.5 gallons an hour while doing the above work.. my massey 65 is a little less hungry.. figure roughly 8-10 gallons of fuel per acre.. netting 80-100 gallons of oil per acre for rape or sunflower. which you grow is determined by your soil and location.. for me i like sunflowers because i can use the oil for my food also.. i dont recommend the rapeseed oil to be consumerd.. though plenty do under the name canola, which is short for canadian industrial oil sold to stupid americans.

for a way to increase oil (and food production in your garden) mix 1 gallon of molases, 3 gallons of seaweed emulsion, 5 gallons of fish emulsion, 1 gallon of shaklee basic H... mix this 10 gallons with water at 1 gallon of mix to 100 gallons of water and spray your crop early in the morning (and it must be very early in the morning)... note.. this is a not for resale without my getting a cut of the action.


--- Quote from: quinnf on December 22, 2005, 04:13:40 AM ---Any idea how much fuel it takes to plow, plant, weed, and harvest that much rapeseed/sunflower seed/whatever?  Nothing's fer free. . .

--- End quote ---

I think that if you have the land to do it and can afford to grow fuel, rather than food, you could make it work out. Nothing is free, but if there is no diesel anywhere....

I've been thinking about it, because I would like to make my own olive oil. Just as a hobby type of deal, and I think it would be good to have the capacity to do it anyways.


For a truly renewable source of oil, crops or other similar cultivatable sources would have to be considered. Plants utilize photosynthesis to convert solar energy into chemical energy. It is this chemical energy that biodiesel stores and is released when it is burned. Therefore plants can offer a sustainable oil source for biodiesel production. Different plants produce usable oil at different rates. Some studies have shown the following annual production:
Soybean: 40 to 50 US gal/acre (40 to 50 m³/km²)
Rapeseed: 110 to 145 US gal/acre (100 to 140 m³/km²)
Mustard: 140 US gal/acre (130 m³/km²)
Jatropha: 175 US gal/acre (160 m³/km²)
Palm oil: 650 US gal/acre (610 m³/km²) [2]
Algae: 10,000 to 20,000 US gal/acre (10,000 to 20,000 m³/km²)

The production of algae to harvest oil for biodiesel has not been undertaken on a commercial scale, but working feasibility studies have been conducted to arrive at the above number. Specially bred mustard varieties can produce reasonably high oil yields, and have the added benefit that the meal leftover after the oil has been pressed out can act as a effective and biodegradable pesticide. There is ongoing research into finding more suitable crops and improving oil yield. Using the current yields, vast amounts of land would have to be put into production to produce enough oil to completely replace fossil fuel usage.

Soybeans are not a very efficient crop solely for the production of biodiesel, but their common use in the United States for food products has led to soybean biodiesel becoming the primary source for biodiesel in that country. Soybean producers have lobbied to increase awareness of soybean biodiesel, expanding the market for their product. In Europe, rapeseed is the most common base oil used in biodiesel production. In India and southeast Asia, the Jatropha tree is used as a significant fuel source, and it is also planted for watershed protection and other environmental restoration efforts.

Efficiency and economic arguments

According to a study written by Drs. Van Dyne and Raymer for the Tennessee Valley Authority, the average US farm consumes fuel at the rate of 82 litres per hectare (8.75 US gallons per acre) of land to produce one crop. However, average crops of rapeseed produce oil at an average rate of 1,029 L/ha (110 US gal/acre), and high-yield rapeseed fields produce about 1,356 L/ha (145 US gal/acre). The ratio of input to output in these cases is roughly 1:12.5 and 1:16.5. Photosynthesis is known to have an efficiency rate of about 16% and if the entire mass of a crop is utilized for energy production, the overall efficiency of this chain is known to be about 1%. This does not compare favorably to solar cells combined with an electric drive train. Biodiesel outcompetes solar cells in cost and ease of deployment. However, these statistics by themselves are not enough to show whether such a change makes economic sense.

Additional factors must be taken into account, such as: the fuel equivalent of the energy required for processing, the yield of fuel from raw oil, the return on cultivating food, and the relative cost of biodiesel versus petrodiesel. A 1998 joint study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) traced many of the various costs involved in the production of biodiesel and found that overall, it yields 3.2 units of fuel product energy for every unit of fossil fuel energy consumed. [3] That measure is referred to as the energy yield. A comparison to petroleum diesel, petroleum gasoline and bioethanol using the USDA numbers can be found at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website. In the comparison petroleum diesel fuel is found to have a 0.843 energy yield, along with 0.805 for petroleum gasoline, and 1.34 for bioethanol. The 1998 study used soybean oil primarily as the base oil to calculate the energy yields. It is conceivable that higher oil yielding crops could increase the energy yield of biodiesel.

Some nations and regions that have pondered transitioning fully to biofuels have found that doing so would require immense tracts of land if traditional crops are used. Considering only traditional plants and analyzing the amount of biodiesel that can be produced per acre of cultivated land, some have concluded that it is likely that the United States, with one of the highest per capita energy demands of any country, does not have enough arable land to fuel all of the nation's vehicles. Other developed and developing nations may be in better situations, although many regions cannot afford to divert land away from food production. For third world countries, biodiesel sources that use marginal land could make more sense, e.g. honge nuts [4] grown along roads.

More recent studies using a species of algae that has oil contents of as high as 50% have concluded that as little as 28,000 km² or 0.3% of the land area of the US could be utilized to produce enough biodiesel to replace all transportation fuel the country currently utilizes. Further encouragement comes from the fact that the land that could be most effective in growing the algae is desert land with high solar irradiation, but lower economic value for other uses and that the algae could utilize farm waste and excess CO2 from factories to help speed the growth of the algae. [5]

The direct source of the energy content of biodiesel is solar energy captured by plants during photosynthesis. The website discusses the positive energy balance of biodiesel:
When straw was left in the field, biodiesel production was strongly energy positive, yielding 1 GJ biodiesel for every 0.561 GJ of energy input (a yield/cost ratio of 1.78).
When straw was burned as fuel and oilseed rapemeal was used as a fertilizer, the yield/cost ratio for biodiesel production was even better (3.71). In other words, for every unit of energy input to produce biodiesel, the output was 3.71 units (the difference of 2.71 units would be from solar energy).

Biodiesel is becoming of interest to companies interested in commercial scale production as well as the more usual home brew biodiesel user and the user of straight vegetable oil or waste vegetable oil in diesel engines. Homemade biodiesel processors are many and varied.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version