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Archive for July, 2009

How will you store Camelina ?

July 16th, 2009

This article is very informative.This paper explains about that the storage stabilities of fuel grade Camelina, sunflower and rapeseed methyl esters were evaluated in airtight and open containers.

Commercial amounts (200 litres) of the methyl esters were stored in airtight drums and sampled regularly, and the effects of air exposure were evaluated from sixteen days laboratory-scale accelerated storage tests at 65oC.

None of the methyl esters in airtight drums deteriorated during eighteen months of storage; composition, viscosity and free fatty acid levels remained unchanged. The accelerated storage test in open containers, however, indicated that exposure to air can cause rapid oxidation of each of the three methyl esters.

However, oxidation can be delayed by the presence of tocopherols (natural antioxidants) in the methyl ester, and it can be further delayed by the presence of an unidentified carotenoid. The exceptional stability of rapeseed methyl ester seems to be due to a combination of relatively high levels of (-tocopherol and the unidentified carotenoid.

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Biodiesel Yields of Various Oilseeds

July 16th, 2009

Here is an article on “Biodiesel Benefits for Cattle Producers” by Greg Lardy, Ph.D., prepared for the Western Organization of Resource Councils.He has given the list of projeted oil yields and biodiesel yields from various oilseeds.


Fat content, %

Pounds of Oil per Ton

Pounds of Biodiesel 1

Gallons of Biodiesel2































1 all oil is extracted from the meal. 100 pounds of oil plus 10 pounds of methanol yields 100 pounds of biodiesel and 10 pounds of crude glycerol.
2 Assuming 7.3 pounds per gallon

full article here

Camelina – Fatty acids and tocopherol content.

July 16th, 2009

Here is an interesting article about the Oil samples obtained from the seed of Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz were analyzed for the content of fatty acids and tocopherols.

The evaluation of the results in this report includes three promising cultivars from a collection of seven summer cultivars and varieties grown in field trials 1997 at five remote localities representing Central Europe, Northern Europe and Scandinavia (7–17° E, 48–60° N).

At all experimental sites identical cultivation practices with small modifications were used. The analyses reconfirmed the known specific profile of fatty acids in camelina oil.

The average content of oleic acid (18:1n−9) was 14.87 ±0.17%, linoleic acid (18:2n−6) 15.23 ±0.17%, α-linolenic acid (18:3n−3) 36.82 ±0.27%, gondoic acid (20:1n−9) 15.48 ±0.16% and of erucic acid (22:1n−9) 2.83 ±0.07%.

The analyses for tocopherols (T) revealed the average content of α-T at 28.07 ±2.58 ppm, γ-T 742 ±14.80 ppm, δ-T 20.47 ±0.92 ppm and of plastochromanol (P-8) 14.94 ±1.05 ppm. Neither β-T nor tocotrienols were detectable. The average content of total tocopherols was 806±15.70 ppm.

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Unique Properties of Camelina Oil

July 16th, 2009
Camelina oil has good potential for food and industrial use. The oil contains about 64 percent polyunsaturated, 30 percent monounsaturated, and 6 percent saturated fatty acids. Importantly, camelina oil is very high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid which is essential in human and animal diets and has important implications for human health. The oil also contains high levels of gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E) which confers a reasonable shelf life without the need for special storage conditions. The unique properties of camelina oil could lead to development of a wide array of high value markets for the oil and its components in foods, feeds, cosmetics and industrial products (biolubricants). Some ideas currently being researched include:

  • Nutritional: Using camelina oil to increase the nutritional value of a range of baked foods such as bread, and spreads including peanut butter.
  • Health: Potential health benefits of omega-3 from camelina oil are being evaluated in a breast cancer risk study for overweight or obese postmenopausal women.
  • Biodiesel: Camelina biodiesel has been produced and evaluated by commercial biodiesel manufacturers including Core IV, Wyoming Biodiesel, Peaks and Prairies and Great Northern Growers. Camelina biodiesel performance appears to be equal in value and indistinguishable from biodiesel produced from other oilseed crops such as soybean.
  • Biolubricant: Camelina oil can be converted to a wax ester that will replace more expensive and less available Jojoba waxes in a range of industrial and cosmetic products.
  • Soil and seed amendments: The gum layer that surrounds each camelina seed can be removed and utilized as a seed coating for other seeds to improve their germination in challenging environments. Camelina gum also has the potential to be used as a soil amendment to stabilize exposed soils for erosion control as in road construction.

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Miscanthus+ thermophillic bacteria = High hydrogen yield.

July 16th, 2009

Given below is the summary of the research of efforts of efficient hydrogen production from the lignocellulosic energy crop Miscanthus by the extreme thermophilic bacteria.

Efficient hydrogen production in combination with simultaneous and complete utilization of all saccharides has been obtained during the growth of thermophilic bacteria on
hydrolysate of the lignocellulosic feedstock Miscanthus. The use of thermophilic bacteria will therefore significantly contribute to the energy efficiency of a bioprocess for hydrogen production from biomass.

For those of the scientific bent – Full article.

Switch-grass vs Corn

July 16th, 2009

Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley, conducted a detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. Their report is published in Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76).

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:
# corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
# switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
# wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:
# soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
# sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

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Arunda.donax in Rajasthan.

July 16th, 2009

The dry matter production, nutrient concentration and allelopathic effects of A. donax were studied in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. A. donax preferred to grow along the marginal upland areas of natural wetlands flooded temporarily during rainy season.

Its woody rhizome formed a close network in the soil at a depth of approximately 25-30 cm, while its thick tough roots penetrated at a depth of >1.0 m into the soil. It was a highly productive species.

Annual cutting after flowering improved plant growth and organic matter production. Studies on nutrient dynamics revealed slight internal cycling. A. donax stand soil markedly inhibited the growth of Typha angustata (an important obnoxious weed) seedlings, whereas its leaf and litter leachates retarded the growth of selected free floating and submerged hydrophytes. The applications of these findings in the management of freshwater ecosystems are discussed.

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Cultivation of Perennial grasses better than Corn

July 16th, 2009

Land currently used to grow row crops would provide one source of land for perennial grass production. The primary concern associated with this conversion is that less cropland would be available for food production, leading to diminished food supplies and increased food prices (Carey 2005).

However, this competition could be mitigated if switchgrass is grown on land currently used to grow corn for ethanol. It is estimated that about 20% of harvested corn goes into ethanol production (Yates, 2008).

Based on this percentage and the amount of corn acreage grown in 2008, approximately 16.5 million acres would open up for switch grass production if corn ethanol were replaced.

Biofuels will displace gasoline use in USA by 2030

July 16th, 2009

Within the next 10 years, cellulosic ethanol will be an increasingly important source of fuel, given DOE’s commitment to bringing cellulosic ethanol online by 2012 and to increasing its production substantially by 2030.

Clearly challenges lie ahead in determining on what type of land switchgrass and other biomass will be grown, switchgrass would provide the most environmental benefits by displacing these acres of corn, using retired agricultural land, such as CRP, is more likely to be considered in light of corn ethanol policy.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has set the goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012, and by 2030, it aims to make biofuels displace 30% of the country’s projected gasoline use (USDOE, 2007).

Some of the primary types of feedstock being considered to meet these goals are crop residues, perennial woody crops, and perennial grasses. Perennial grasses have been a particular focus, with switchgrass receiving the most attention.

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Arunda Donax – Estimation of Dry weight

July 15th, 2009

Trust me !! This is unbelievable. Please read through this abstract and you will agree with me :) .

Researchers from the Department of Plant Science in California have developed an equation for estimating Arundo donax shoot dry weight from shoot length. The equation, shoot dry weight (g) = 14.254 (standard error = ±0.275) × shoot height2 (m), was as effective at explaining a high proportion of total variation in shoot dry weight (R2 = 0.90) as more complicated equations containing additional morphometric parameters.

They are tested against two independent datasets, the equation provided accurate estimates of dry weight for shoots ranging from 0.3 to 7.06 m height (dataset 1, P < 0.0001, R2 = 0.87, N = 29; dataset 2, P < 0.0001, R2 = 0.82, N = 192). The equation provides above ground biomass estimates from stem counts and heights more rapidly than harvest methods.

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