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Pennycress biodiesel news:

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Pennycress biodiesel companies leading the industry:

  • Innovation Fuels Currently operating a biorefinery with 950,000 barrel per year capacity in Newark, NJ, and with two test plots of pennycress growing elsewhere in the state of New Jersey; in addition to test areas throughout the States of New York and Wisconsin, intends to expand its renewable energy initiative exponentially over the next 2-3 years.
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) The lab is trying to determine agronomic parameters for pennycress production. They have the following specific research objectives: 1. Determine optimum planting depth for pennycress. 2. Evaluate effect of nitrogen on pennycress seed production. 3. Evaluate pennycress planting date. In addition, the lab website also describes their work with making methyl esters (biodiesel) from pennydress oil: "The objective of this study was to evaluate the physical properties of pennycress oil and its methyl esters for suitability as a biodiesel. Pennycress seeds were obtained from combine harvesting of wild strands using conventional combines. The seeds were cleaned by screening, aspiration and gravity table fractionation. Oil was recovered from whole seed by passing through a screw press and filtration. The oil was converted to methyl esters using a sodium methoxide catalyst in methanol. Pour point, cloud point, viscosity, flash point acid value, copper corrosion, and oxidative stability were determined on both the oil and the methyl esters using the appropriate ASTM method. The seed was found to contain 36% oil with the major fatty acid as erucic at 38.1%, and an iodine value of 115. Viscosity index (VI) of the methyl esters was 277, with a 40 deg C viscosity of 5.0 CST, and pour point and cloud points of -15 and -10 deg C, respectively. The starting oil had a VI of 222, with a 40 deg C viscosity of 39.1 CST, and pour point and cloud points of -18 and -10 deg C, respectively. As expected, the flash point of the methyl esters at 136 deg C was considerably less than the starting oil at 234 deg C. OSI of the oil at 100 deg C was 39 h and 54 h for methyl esters. The early harvest date of pennycress, compared to other winter annual oilseed crops, will make it suitable for a two-crop rotation with soybeans in most of the Midwestern U.S. In addition, the physical properties of the methyl esters indicate that continued development of the oil as a biodiesel is warranted."