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Fuelmaker turns crops into diesel fuel
"It's the first time anyone's ever successfully converted soybeans and other oilseed crops into a clean-burning diesel fuel substitute," says Richard Noss, representative of Bio-Energy Ltd. The Australian firm has come up with a first-of-its-kind extraction and blending process that actually changes the chemical structure of crop oils so that they'll burn without modification or alteration in any diesel engine.
The fuel-making system attracted thousands of showgoers at the recent National Fieldays in Hamilton, New Zealand. It consists of two components. The first is a large screw-type oil extractor that produces a raw crude oil and a dry high-protein feed by-product. Working automatically, the new extractor processes about 3,000 lbs. of soybeans every 24 hrs.
Once extracted the oil is mixed with a catalyst in a tank on a separate oil processing unit. The oil and catalyst are heated to 140?, and the combination of the heat and catalyst causes the oil to break down into smaller particles. A glycerol by-product (which can be sold for industrial uses) is extracted from the oil into a second tank by "washing" the oil with water. The final result is a high-quality fuel that can be stored and used just like diesel fuel.
The fuel system can be used to make about 400 gal. of diesel fuel per day to power pickups, tractors, generators, and any other diesel engines without any modification whatsoever.
"It has the consistency of diesel fuel without the fouling and sludge build-up experienced by farmers who've tried to burn crop oils in the past. We've found that the only way to burn crop oil in diesel engines is to put it through a process like ours that breaks it down into smaller particles that'll burn and handle cleanly," says Noss.
Processing costs for the fuel, which exceeds in quality the specifications for No. 2 diesel fuel; amount to about 16 cents per gal., including labor, electricity (to heat the oil) and catalyst. Total cost per gallon, depending on commodity prices and other variable costs, could be as low as $1.10. That price looks very good to New Zealand farmers who pay as much as $3.00 per gallon for diesel fuel. The company hopes U.S. farmers will be interested in the system as an alternative use for low-priced crops.
Noss says cooperative groups of farmers have begun buying processing units together to process a variety of crops such as soybeans, sunflowers, safflowers, rapeseed, linseed and peanuts. The oil extractor sells for about $10,000 and the separate oil processor for $20,000.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bio-Energy Pty. Ltd., 155 Bath Road North, Kirrawee, N.S.W. 2232 Australia (ph 02 542-3444).

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #5