The National Peanut Research Lab is looking at how farmers may be able to make their own peanut-based on-farm fuel.
Research agronomist Wilson Faircloth says they have spent the past two years field testing different peanut varieties that can be used to make biodiesel. “We are now at the point where we are beginning to build a biodiesel pilot plant at our lab in Dawson where we can show farmers how to take peanuts from the field to the fuel tank in a self-contained fuel system,” he said.
In an interview with Southeast Agnet at the recent Georiga Peanut Show in Albany, Faircloth said they are planning to complete a plant by mid-summer that will fully meet the diesel demands of the research lab. “Our diesel demands are 3-5,000 gallons per year,” he said. “So for an average farm this will be about a quarter-scale plant.” The budget for the plant is less than $25,000.
When the plant is complete, Faircloth says they plan to have a demonstration event for farmers in the area.
Listen to an interview with Faircloth by Southeast Agnet’s Lee McCoy here: Faircloth Interview (3 min MP3)