Biodiesel offers an alternative to fossil fuel for cars, trucks, buses, trains, and farm equipment that have been traditionally run on petroleum based diesel fuel. Peanuts are a powerful source of biofuel as they contain about 50% oil by weight.
Rudolf Diesel was granted a patent for his "Method of and Apparatus for Converting Heat into Work" on July 16, 1895. The Diesel Engine was designed to run on vegetable oil, not petroleum. Diesel demonstrated his engine running on peanut oil at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.
The Story of the Diesel Engine
Diesel's method of conversion of heat into work is expressed inside the Diesel engine. US Patent 542,846 by Diesel describes an engine powered by a great variety of fuels, including mineral oil, vegetable oils, and carbon powder.
This 2 stroke engine design was quickly adopted in large ships due to it's power, reliability, and efficiency.
By 1912, the diesel engine was being using in ocean going vessels.
One important design benefit of the Diesel Engine is efficiency due to it's high compression in the cylinder.
Diesel engine's have up to 2 times the compression ratio of gasoline engines. Higher compression is possible in the diesel because it compresses only air, not fuel and air.
The diesel engine's higher compression causes a larger expansion ratio after combustion thus increasing it's efficiency over the gasoline engine.
Making Biodiesel from Peanuts
Under heat and pressure, peanuts release their oil, leaving a dry cake that can be used for animal feed. A ton of peanuts yields about 800 lbs. of animal meal, and about 100 gallons of crude oil. The crude peanut oil is then filtered, and put into a reaction tank with methanol and sodium hydroxide (the catalyst). This creates a methyl ester which is bio-diesel fuel. The production of biofuel from peanuts is scalable to the needs of the farm.
Willie Nelson Talks about Biofuel - "We can grow our own fuels"
Willie has long supported farmers but it was his wife that introduced him to bio-diesel.
He says her VW Jetta's "tailpipe smells like french fries" when running on recycled vegetable oil from the local restaurants.
Willie uses bio-fuel in his cars, trucks, and buses. He is the namesake for "BioWillie" fuel available at Texas truckstops. Biodiesel can be mixed with petroleum diesel in any ratio. The diesel engine needs no adjustment to run on biofuel. It was designed for it.
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