Energy Independence: On-Farm Biodiesel Fuel Production
Roger Rainville is ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing costs on his farm near Alburgh, Vermont. He’s currently producing biodiesel for about $1.70 a gallon. That savings, and his profit margin, are going to be even greater if energy and fuel prices continue to rise as they have recently. Rainville first got interested in oilseed production when University of Vermont Extension approached him about growing canola seed on his farm. Initially, Rainville thought the canola could provide a good source of feed (canola meal) for his cows, with oil production simply a side-benefit. Over several years, however, Rainville’s thinking was transformed as he realized the potential for producing his own biodiesel. As shown in this video, Rainville has developed expertise in production, harvesting, processing and storage of canola (and sunflower) oil, as well as the technical aspects of converting that oil into biodiesel fuel for use on the farm. Rainville cautions that farmers should try out oilseed and biofuel production on a small scale first, before making any major changes or investments in equipment. Watch the video and learn more to see if biodiesel production might be adapted to your farm or ranch system.
A summary of the video, Steps in Biodiesel Production, is also available:
Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) ONE08-081, Assessing the value of oilseed meals for soil fertility and weed suppression , and LNE09-282, Improving oilseed production and harvesting practices in New England: A farmer-to-farmer exchange .
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