While most proponents of vegetable oils for fuel are experimenting with soybean and sunflower oils, researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, have hundreds of hours on tractors running on rapeseed oil.
Ag engineers at Guelph had two tractors, both under 50 hp, operating in the field this past spring and summer. Neither tractor has been modified in any way. One runs 100% on rapeseed oil and the other on half soybean and half rapeseed oil. "We didn't modify them because most farmers don't want to modify new tractors that cost thousands of dollars. Also, without modification, the tractors can be switched quickly back to diesel fuel," one of the engineers told FARM SHOW.
The University had their rapeseed-powered tractor on display at the recent International Plowing Match farm show in Ontario. Rapeseed oil, the engineers say, is slightly thicker than sunflower oil and would not run well in the winter without a heated fuel tank. However, since the tractors are not modified in any way, farmers can switch to diesel in winter and use rapeseed in the warmer months when fuel requirements are greater.