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propagating perennials: Camelina sativa-Camelina
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Camelina sativa-Camelina

This is an annual, basically a weed, that is used for biodiesel in planes/jets. It is primarily grown in Northern States because it cannot withstand the heat of summer. In Florida and Georgia they plant it as a winter crop, in by December out by April. It will flower in 85-100 days and it’s the seed heads that are used to make fuel. One acre makes about a gallon. Honeywell got FAA permission to fly to the Paris air show on camelina. They farm it in Montana and have a plant that makes into fuel in Houston. The plant itself has been around since the Bronze age and is native to Northern Europe. It is also used as feedstock. Ethanol as you know is from corn which feeds the world and that’s why some like Camelina. A 50 pound bag of seed can cover 5 acres and the cost to covert runs about $60, however because the seed has about 40% oil, and rich in OMEGA-3 fatty acid, it needs to be stored at 8% humidity or lower or else it becomes combustible and it’s the carbon the plant absorbs that makes it so valuable. It takes in more then is burned in a flight. It grows up to 3' and is in the mustard family.

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