Skip to comments.Farmer planning diesel tree biofuel
Posted on 11/01/2006 10:39:51 AM PST by Red Badger
They say that money doesn't grow on trees, but a Queensland farmer believes fuel does.
Mike Jubow, a nursery wholesaler from Mackay, has begun importing seed from Brazil to plant diesel trees.
The tropical trees, which have the botanic name copaifera langsdorfii, produce a biofuel that can be tapped, filtered and used to power machinery such as tractors.
It is estimated a one hectare plantation could produce 12,000 litres of fuel a year - enough to make a small farm fuel self-sufficient.
Mr Jubow, who operates the Nunyara Wholesale Forestry Nursery and has been in the industry for 14 years, said he had heard about the trees from a colleague attending a forestry conference.
"I pricked my ears and thought 'This guy is having a go at me' but when I came home I got onto the net and typed in diesel tree and there it was," Mr Jubow said.
"I thought 'I've got to get seeds for this thing' and it's taken me three years to track them down."
He sourced the seed from Brazil and says the first seedlings would be available in late January.
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.
While the fuel cannot be stored for more than a few months it can be tapped.
But even if it is left too long, it thickens into copaiba oil, which is used in alternative medicines and fetches around $100 a litre in the United States.
And at the end of the tree's life, it can be milled to produce a light brown timber favoured by cabinet makers.
"There's nothing wasted on the tree," Mr Jubow said.
Rest in Peace, old friend, your work is finished.......
Diesel "Ping" List: If you want on or off the DIESEL "KNOCK" LIST just FReepmail me........
Remember this is from Australia. They have to import all their oil. So for them it may be economically viable.......
>>>This is almost as bad as the whole "grow grain for ethanol" fiasco.
Are you in the "once corn is used for ethanol there's noting left" crowd? If so, you're woefully ignorant.
A hectare is about 2 acres not 250 acres.
I'd be glad to send him a few Popcorn tree seeds..........
1 hectare = 2.5 acres, not 250.
Um. 1 hectare is 2.47 acres.
There was some research done a few years ago about turning "greasewood" or "creosote bush" into a sort of Diesel fuel. I guess it worked, but the yield per acre was not so good, and cultivation would have turned the locality into a threatened environment or something.
Two and a half acres is quite a reasonable amount of land to set aside for liquid fuel. People set aside more than that for woodlots. I just set a search running on ebay to see if I can find some seeds. The minuscule amount of research I've done in the last few minutes says it's a tropical tree, but that there are over 40 related species.
CNG/LPG Direct Injection, these fuels are dramatically cheaper than even diesel in certain parts of the world.
Page 6 if my memory is correct.
Wrong. 1 hectare = 2.47 acres.
Yes, I remember that. But these other sources are safer because the fuel stays put until you extract it..........
Okay, if I'm following this correctly, they recommend planting 1000 trees on the equivalent of 2.5 A of land.
About four to six years later they would be measured again before culling them down to between 250 and 350 of the best trees,
So far, we're 4 to 6 years into the project with no financial return.
which would be inter-bred and harvested for seed.
Okay, we're going back to square one and gonna plant seeds again, with no real mention in the article of how long it's going to take a tree to reach maturity and be a maximum producing capacity. It seems it would be 12-15 years just to get the seeds crossbred and producing to grow more trees. That's a long time to go without any cashflow.
It appears this Diesel Tree will only grow in the Tropics, but of course it could be crossbred with a sturdier variety of tree which thrives to zone 2 or 3.
If you're from the upper Midwest, you might recall the Jerusalem Artichoke fiasco. I don't know why Jerusalem Artichokes kept popping into my mind while I read this story.
But, in the case of these trees in Australia (tropical part) you can harvest the sap like maple syrup, not wait for seeds. Thus you would be making fuel while waiting for good hybrid seed production...............
1 hectare = 2.47105381 acres
If you're testing for YIELD after three years, you must be getting something, though obviously not what you'd get from a mature tree. So, pick out the worst half of the trees, drain them dry then cut them down. If the "diesel" thickens beyond use as fuel, it appears to have some health benefits. I wonder if the lumber's any good.
Yes, it is useful for cabinet making, so it probably has a pretty grain.........
The Chinese tallow tree is potentially the best source of plant oil for biodiesel since it is large, very robust, and very fast growing. Moreover, it is extremely fertile and will quickly take over a tract of land with no assistance from the cultivator. But these strengths are also its drawbacks. The tallow tree is considered extremely invasive, and has already become a scourge in a number of Southern States. Many local governments are attempting, unsuccessfully, to exterminate it, and would scarcely welcome enormous plantations of the trees whose seeds could be dispersed far and wide by birds. We are frankly uncertain as to the near and midterm prospects of the tallow tree, and, in any case, we see methyl ester biodiesel as ultimately losing ground to other alternative fuels, and thus the prospects of a cheap though problematic source of plant oil diminishing.
Kudzu can stand the competition!
It appears that the CTT is another of the plants you chop up & distill, rather than tap like maple syrup the way you do these diesel trees. I'm not sure I'd want to put the product of that tap directly into a Volvo, at least not a Volvo *I* owned, but I'll see if I can find some diesel-tree seeds and then go from there.
Australia suffered a horrible wheat season this year, from an expected 19M to an actual 11m ton year because of drought. The 11m covers domestic consumption and leaves less than 2M for export. So from ~10M to ~2M for export, the wheat industry is getting crushed in AU.
"Grain for ethanol" is a fiasco in Australia's food security view.
>>>"Grain for ethanol" is a fiasco in Australia's food security view.
Ethanol is NOT a food OR fuel proposition - it's food AND fuel. There are plenty of viable products that come from the process of extracting ethanol from grains like corn - many of which are ingredients in food, or used as feed for animals.
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