26 March 2008

Brazilian Diesel Trees Thrive in Australia: New Bio Energy Industry w/ Transplant Trees

Australian farmers are busily at work cultivating the "diesel tree" (copaifera langsdorfii) from Brazil. These trees can be tapped for a natural oil (sesquiterpenes), which can be refined to a biodiesel. Such bio-energy "crops" promise to help with regional demands for oil, energy, and diesel.
Over 20,000 trees have been sold to farmers in the tropics by the man who introduced the diesel tree from Brazil.

The tree produces an oil that can be extracted, filtered and used to power vehicles and farm machinery....It is estimated a one-hectare crop could produce enough fuel for an average-sized family farm. ___abc__via__jennifermar0hasy
This tree is a perennial that can produce 12,000 liters of diesel per hectare (roughly 2.5 acres), or 14 gallons per tree. Farmers and family ranches could power their vehicular use via this wild growing tree.
The recommended method of growing them is to plant 1,000 trees on a hectare of land, preferably in a tropical area, then test them for their vigour, growth and yield about three years later, which ordinarily would lead to culling about half of them.

About four to six years later they would be measured again before culling them down to between 250 and 350 of the best trees, which would be inter-bred and harvested for seed.

Mr Jubow said a large mature tree would yield about 40 litres of diesel a year, which equated to about 12,000 litres per hectare of trees.

"It becomes astonishingly viable for a farmer to have a piece of his most productive land to get the tree up and running and then he can be independent from the fuel companies for the rest of his life," he said.

They are known to produce fuel for 70 years.__smh__via__jennifermarohasy

Copaifera langsdorfii (Purdue)
Copaifera langsdorfii (world agroforestry)

While waiting for synthetic biologists to produce the ideal bio-energy organism, it does not hurt to use what nature has already invented.

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Blogger IConrad said...

Interesting. In 2005, the average size per farm in acres was 444, in the US.

Now, a farm of that size has an average revenue stream per acre of ~74.00 dollars per acre.

So, for a hit of under $200.00 per year in revenue, the average farm could be fuel independent, by this math. Certainly this is economically sound.

Regardless of how much the trees themselves or any refinement equipment (given it only requires filtration and methanol/ethanol introduction -- extremely cheap processes) might cost, no bank worth its salt ought to refuse this sort of venture; the revenue change can easily more than absorb the loan installment costs after two years. It's practically guaranteed income.

Low-tech is reliable tech. Reliable tech is good tech. :)

Wednesday, 26 March, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Well, it does take 10 to 15 years for these trees to start producing well. And they are limited to the tropics, pretty much.

I suspect that with a bit of genetic tweaking, they might acquire a bit of frost tolerance.

We are living in a jungle of energy on this planet.

Thursday, 27 March, 2008  

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