energy and rapeseed

Tony Travis ajt at
Wed Aug 26 05:43:47 EST 1992

In article <92726111442.MIN-LVYAa26691.bionet-news at> you write:
: There is a very heated debate raging in Europe at the moment regarding so-
: called Rape methyl-esters and their value for replacing diesel fuel.  Oil

Where can I read about this debate ?

: seed rape is grown extensively and has been overproduced due to subsidy
: under the Common Agricultural Policy - excess crops are now being used for
: fuel.  RMEs are thought to have many ecological advantages but economically
: they remain uncompetitive with fossil fuels.  Several farm equipment 
: manufacturers offer models with engines adapted to run on RMEs and I
: have read that a fleet of delivery vehicles has been commissioned in 
: Germany to run on RMEs. 

How is the oil extracted (cold/hot/solvent) and is this a factor in determining
the economic viability of rape oil as a diesel alternative ??

: Regarding erucic acid,  I understood that it is poisonous to humans which
: must be a good reason for breeding it out of crop lines.   However, there
: are high erucic acid cultivars available and they are advertised as such
: so there must be a commercial use for high erucic acid rapeseed oil.

Are their any cultivars bred specifically for use as a source of diesel
oil alternatives ??

It strikes me that a 'carbon' tax could be implemented by *not* taxing
renewable energy sources such as rape oil for use in road vehicles as
heavily as conventional diesel/petrol fuel is taxed (rather like the
lower cost of lead-free petrol).


Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute,            |  JANET: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  other: <ajt at>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |  phone: 0224-712751

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