But I don't believe it.
I have spent years researching this subject. Last year we had meetings of over a dozen fellows in my living room - most of whom had actually done it. A couple on a commercial scale. In and out of the business with the fluctuations of oil prices and public attitudes.
I have done the figures over and over with several engineers. When you look at the energy (fuel) it takes to drive the tractors, harvesters, oil presses, etc. - you come out with very little net energy (fuel). And that does not include other energy that went into making it - such as hydro and human energy.
I have traveled about and talked with people about all sorts of grand ideas - such as algae. It is all a dream. I am writing this is May 2010 and the latest one I checked out was last month about switch grass. Comes in numerous varieties. Marvelous stuff, the government agent told me. You plant it and have nothing more to do about it. Comes up each year thereafter on its own. The first year you have to kill the ground to make sure it gets a good start.
My last email back to him (I was in the process of ordering seeds) - I asked, "What will that do for our bees?" Bees travel three miles from the hive and most of the beekeepers are losing their hives these days. Anyway, it was my last email. I never heard back from him.
I don't know the solution. I think I am back to some other kinds of seed. We may have to go with biofuel. Get out there and prepare the ground with oxen, horses or human labor. Plant by hand, reap by hand, even human powered seed presses. But biodiesel may power a truck that we have to send some long distance and there is no other way. We may be able to power the seed presses with water or wind, or electricity that we make from water or wind, and we may be able to power vehicles for local use with batteries, woodgas, or other forms of energy including horses - but for long distance transportation we are going to need diesel fuel and I don't know where we are going to find any oil in the ground around here.
So - I continue to look at biodiesel. Have bought lots of expensive books. (Send me money and I will send you the secret.) This is a much smaller section than I used to put out but most of the stuff before I could only reference because it was copyrighted. Now, years later, I realize that the only thing they could make (take) was money. Your money. I must be a very gullible person - because I have bought many books on this and many other things. The ideas sound good but the engineers around me can't figure out a practical way to put it together. If it were easy - a lot of people would be doing it. It is NOT true that you get what you pay for. I have paid lots for information that was supposed to be useful - but wasn't. Anyway, the information that you get from me is free.
This 24 page .pdf file lists 56 oil bearing seeds and discusses a variety of methods for extraction and processing. These oils can be used either for food or fuel.
From here you can link to many of the popular books and feel the enthusiasm of the movement.
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RAPESEED, LINSEED, FLAXSEED, SUNFLOWERSEED, SESAMESEED, PEANUT, GROUNDNUTS, MUSTARDSEED, POPPY, COTTON SEED etc. are but a few of the seeds that have been suggested for making biofuel. There are also techniques that have used grasses, corn, and all sorts of other vegetable and biomass. There are large commercial operations in several countries in the world - but we were looking for something to do on a smaller scale. It just isn't practical now - but it may be under different circumstances.
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