Making oil for biodiesel

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rickd203, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    I understand that a common way to get oil for biodiesel is to drive around to all the local restaurants and get their used cooking oil. I am planning on living where there isn't a lot of people or restaurants.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to make cooking oil? I was also thinking about using either corn or soybeans to make the oil but I'm not sure which is better or if I should be considering some other crop.
     
  2. TwoAcresAndAGoat

    TwoAcresAndAGoat Well-Known Member

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    an quote from " http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/oilpress.html"

    Our conservative estimate is that 1,280 plants will be enough for three gallons of oil. Spaced one foot apart in rows two feet apart, 1,280 oilseed plants will take a space 40-by-56 feet, or 80-by-28 if you want a more rectangular patch to face south.

    the web site also has information on hulling and pressing sunflower seeds - which have a lot more oil than corn
    There are also other oil crops with a hight oil content but I can't remember any except rape seed off hand.

    also see
    http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/oilseed.html
     

  3. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    I checked out a few of the websites you listed. So far, it looks like linseed or sesame seed would be a much better choice. I am thinking 3-4 acres should be enough to grow crops for biodiesel for my needs.
     
  4. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    RickD, the one plant that will REALLY give you a lot of oil is Jatropha. There is one edible variant of said plant in the South West and Mexico. These plants are really hardy, thrive in pretty much any area but prefer dry areas and usually yield about a tonne of seed per acre, if I'm not mistaken. Very high yield and the seed cakes can be fed to livestock.
    With the excess oils you can make great soaps etc.
    I've done quite a bit of reading on tihs and helped a small town in Congo get their bio diesel project goin (ok, I only provided them with the idea and information), but you get the idea. It is a viable option...
    As soon as I get my property, I'm planting jatropha all along the outer perimiter as a fence (long term). I will harvest said plants once a year in addition to the yield from my local Waffle House to power my generators and truck.
     
  5. thebeav

    thebeav Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in this whole Biodiesel thing. I've read 4 or 5 websites on it. It all seems pretty complcated for a backyard tinker-er. Are any of you actually using biodiesel? If so, I'd be really interested on a set up for my truck and a biodiesel generator.
     
  6. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    I used Bio Diesel in Africa - not here. I knowthere are kits out there that you can install in your truck that will allow you to run straight plant oil - be it filtered from Waffle House or straight from the ground (pressed). Good mileage, free oil and almost no pollution. Look up "Greasel" on google.
     
  7. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    Jatropha sounds interesting but I couldn't find anyplace that sells the seeds to start a crop. Do you know of a web site that sells the seeds?
     
  8. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    It looks like there are several methods for making biodiesel. Some are complicated and some aren't. There are also kits for making biodiesel. If you want to make a lot of biodiesel, there is a $3,000 kit for sale. If you just want to make a few gallons as a test, you can use glass and plastic jugs.
     
  9. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Not familiar with the plant you describe. Where do you get the seeds? We have a diesel truck and a JD tractor. Sounds interesting. We live in the southeast desert and have ample water to grow anything. The soil is sandy but pretty good. Anyone actually using biodiesel in their Dodge truck or JD tractor? What are the costs to process the oil. Thanks.
     
  10. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    Finding the jatropha seeds can be tricky. The best source is from the UK, but there are a few here in the US. I know some folks that run Biodiesel in their trucks and tractors. Willie Nelson runs on BD exclusively. The plant will grow exceptionally well in sandy, dry areas. I have read of some projects in India where they actually managed to reverse the effects of deforestation and convert desert back to forest with these plants!
    Here is one of the best sites on the net for Jatropha stuff:
    http://www.jatropha.de/
     
  11. Oldotaku

    Oldotaku Member

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    I think you'll have more success searching for "jojoba". I remember having to process some of the beans for determining oil content, and we couldn't find anything that didn't get greased up trying to grind the bean down. We eventually had to mix the coarsely chopped beans with purified clay, then grind in a glass mortar which we washed out with solvent. The oil content was really high, but I don't remember what it was now...
     
  12. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    When I looked for jojoba, I got a whole bunch of hits for beauty products but still no seeds! This is starting to look like a great business opportunity. Anyone interested?