The Diesel Tree

With the price of diesel skyrocketing (prompting independent truckers to strike yesterday), it's interesting to note that Mother Nature has actually made a tree that produce natural diesel!

Treehugger has the story:

Australian farmers in the wet tropical region of North Queensland have bought over 20,000 of these so-called diesel trees. The intention is that in 15 or so years they’ll have their very own oil mine growing on their farmland.

Because, the Brazilian Copaifera langsdorfii, to use its botanical name, can be tapped not unlike a rubber tree, but instead of yielding rubbery latex it gives up a natural diesel. According to the nurseryman selling the trees, one hectare will yield about 12,000 litres annually.

Once filtered—no complex refining required, apparently—it can be placed straight into a diesel tractor or truck. We read that a single Copaifera langsdorfii will continue to produce fuel oil for an impressive 70 years, with the only negative being that its particular form of diesel needs to be used within three months of extraction.

Link - Thanks Chris Tackett!


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Its time to get seriouse about alternative oils for operating machinery, oil deposites will not last forever, and if we are retain our life style,its time we made a change for the better,I am seriousely considering growing this tree in New Zealand as an additive to the deasil for my own consumption.
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Produced biodiesel and ethanol is a joke. It's a 1:1 ratio for the amount of energy it takes to make the product, and the actual amount made.
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I have a cousin who lives in California and he's been thinking of trying out the idea of used cooking oil in diesel cars (of course with minor changes in the engine). We all need cooking oil to cook food so why not use it to fuel our cars? Love the idea of using alternate fuel sources.
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@Clyde2003: We already have several states' worth of land dedicated to the growing of corn, farming requires a lot of land. How much land are we currently using to drill for oil? Hypothetically, if we could support ourselves with our own oil how much land in America would we need? How does the environmental impact of drilling for oil and planting trees compare?

@Jen: I find it strange that most of the people who launch themselves into fake coughing fits and claim that I'm giving them cancer whenever I light a cigarette still fire up the bong every morning at half past nine.
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Well, That would be great if it could be implemented in such a way that it preserves the natural diversity of the rainforests, but I don't see that happening. It would likely be better to use algae for biodiesel production, as it can be farmed on otherwise unusable land, and requires nothing but stagnant water and sunlight.
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