With the sharp rise in petroleum prices over the past decade, interest has grown in the possible use of plant and tree seed oils as diesel fuel substitutes or extenders and as chemical feedstocks in both the industrialized and the developing world. This book represents the first attempt to bring together science, technology, and policy aspects of this topic in one volume. The authors examine the chemical, biological, and energy-related resources available in commercial and wild plant oilseeds; the status of chemical processing efforts and of engine tests using agricultural diesel fuels; the potential economic, environmental, and social impacts of more extensive oilseed utilization; and current legislation aimed at stimulating commercialization of strategic renewable agricultural resources.
Introduction -- Renewable Resources: Opportunities and Legislative Initiatives -- Novel Marginal-Land Oilseeds: Potential Benefits and Risks -- Endangered Plant Species: Preservation, Utilization, or Extinction? -- Chemicals and Fuels from Commercial Oilseed Crops -- Chemicals and Fuels from Wild Plant Oilseeds -- Seeds of the Chinese Tallow Tree as a Source of Chemicals and Fuels -- Polymers from Novel Oilseeds in the Southeastern United States -- Sunflower Oil as an Alternative Farm Fuel -- Testing of Vegetable Oils in Diesel Engines -- Seed Oils as Diesel Fuel: Economics of Centralized and On-Farm Extraction -- Production Potential for Fuels from Oilseeds in the United States -- Oilseeds as Lighting and Cooking Fuel for Developing Nations -- Concluding Remarks