[permaculture] Useful Phytochemicals
eco at gaianlife.co.uk
Wed Apr 11 08:26:50 EDT 2007
yes I think it would be a great inclusion in the PC database, In fact
everything that Duke's database is missing I feel is being addressed by you
guys working on the new database. In terms of 'ease of research' what would
have been great for me in the biodiesel search would be to get yields per
plant or per unit area, growing times, timing of fruiting etc (plus acces to
growing/ecological info when I had narrowed down my selection). I usually
have Wikipedia and PFAF open in separate windows for a quick plant cross
check when I use Duke.
As far as biodiesel goes, unfortunately you've a wait of 10-12 yrs to crop
the cork off a Cork Oak, so thats out. Avocados can crop up to 120 fruits
annually (7tons/Ha) but may be prone to bi-annual bearing.
Corn (as an oil crop) has 28mg/kg oil (1.55lb/bushel) with a yield around
150bushels/acre (intensive agriculture data from Wiki) so that means an oil
yield comparison of 7ton/ha avocado : 0.3ton/ha corn oil.
(think I did the math right...1.55lb*150bushels=232.5lb corn oil/acre, *2.5
ish=581lb/Ha=0.29ton/Ha). I have no idea of the planting density for that
yield of avocado, I would imagine they are packed in.
Ethanol and methane are very interesting possibilities for fuel as you can
ferment/digest waste veg/animal matter as part of its cycle back to the
compost & mulch heaps so getting every last drop of energy out of the
system. Getting our energy from our waste I find particularly intruiging. I
don't have the space to really test out such a system properly at the
moment. Still waiting for the funding to get growing land (aren't we all!).
I like the idea of searching for a tree biodiesel source as in Permie terms
you would also be getting a windbreak, forage crop etc. With avocado, if you
cold press for oil rather than chemical extraction, you still have the fruit
pulp left over for feed/compost etc Plus you have the option of layering
other crops/livestock underneath your trees. I would guess that avocado
harvesting is more labor intensive, but then I don't like monocultures of
corn etc. I think I upset a local biodieseler who wanted to join forces to
get funds for monoculture grain crops, by telling him that we would have to
cover the earth's surface with monoculture grain solely for oil cropping
just to supply our most basic fuel needs.
Now of course there remains the maths to be done of how many litres of
biodiesel you get from 7tons of oil and what is the average yearly fuel
consumption (in litres) of say a car or power generator etc. I would do a
search for the numbers now, but the sun is shining and the planting window
for tomatoes is narrowing so my place is outside with my hands in mud.
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