Answer: I am pleased to provide you with information on crop oilseed yields. I have also included some information and resources on using peanut oil for biodiesel production.
Below is a table taken from the ATTRA publication, Biodiesel: The Sustainability Dimensions, that lists various oil producing crops and their relative oil yields in gallons per acre. One gallon of oil = 7.3 pounds (Hill, Kurki, and Morris, 2006). Please keep in mind as you examine this table that the yields will vary in different agroclimatic zones. Plant variety and the type of production system will also affect oil yields.
|Plant||Latin Name||Gal Oil/ Acre||Plant||Latin Name||Gal Oil/ Acre|
|Oil Palm||Elaeis guineensis||610||Rice||Oriza sativa L.||85|
|Macauba Palm||Acrocomia aculeata||461||Buffalo Gourd||Cucurbita foetidissima||81|
|Pequi||Caryocar brasiliense||383||Safflower||Carthamus tinctorius||80|
|Buriti Palm||Mauritia flexuosa||335||Crambe||Crambe abyssinica||72|
|Oiticia||Licania rigida||307||Sesame||Sesamum indicum||71|
|Coconut||Cocos nucifera||276||Camelina||Camelina sativa||60|
|Avocado||Persea americana||270||Mustard||Brassica alba||59|
|Brazil Nut||Bertholletia excelsa||245||Coriander||Coriandrum sativum||55|
|Macadamia Nut||Macadamia terniflora||230||Pumpkin Seed||Cucurbita pepo||55|
|Jatropa||Jatropha curcas||194||Euphorbia||Euphorbia lagascae||54|
|Babassu Palm||Orbignya martiana||188||Hazelnut||Corylus avellana||49|
|Jojoba||Simmondsia chinensis||186||Linseed||Linum usitatissimum||49|
|Pecan||Carya illinoensis||183||Coffee||Coffea arabica||47|
|Bacuri||Platonia insignis||146||Soybean||Glycine max||46|
|Castor Bean||Ricinus communis||145||Hemp||Cannabis sativa||37|
|Gopher Plant||Euphorbia lathyris||137||Cotton||Gossypium hirsutum||33|
|Piassava||Attalea funifera||136||Calendula||Calendula officinalis||31|
|Olive Tree||Olea europaea||124||Kenaf||Hibiscus cannabinus L.||28|
|Rapeseed||Brassica napus||122||Rubber Seed||Hevea brasiliensis||26|
|Opium Poppy||Papaver somniferum||119||Lupine||Lupinus albus||24|
|Peanut||Ariachis hypogaea||109||Palm||Erythea salvadorensis||23|
|Cocoa||Theobroma cacao||105||Oat||Avena sativa||22|
|Sunflower||Helianthus annuus||98||Cashew Nut||Anacardium occidentale||18|
|Tung Oil Tree||Aleurites fordii||96||Corn||Zea mays||18|
According to this chart, peanuts yield about 109 gallons of oil per acre. There are four types of peanuts to consider for production which is limited to the southern regions of the U.S., where nearly 15% of peanuts are crushed for oil in the U.S. (Piedmont Biofuels, 2008). The Virginia peanut has the largest peanut kernels and is the most commonly sold snack peanut (www.eHow.com, 2008). This peanut is also sold in the shell for roasting. The Virginia peanut is grown in Virginia (as the name implies) and in North Carolina. The Spanish peanut has a smaller kernel and reddish-brown skin. This variety is used to make peanut butter, snack nuts and peanut candies. These peanuts are grown mostly in Texas and Oklahoma. The Runner variety is the most dominant of all peanut varieties in the United States. Over half of these peanuts are used for peanut butter. Their yields are extremely high and are grown in Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. The Valencia peanut variety has very bright red skin and small kernels. This variety is very sweet and is sold roasted in the shell. These peanuts make excellent boiled peanuts when cooked fresh. Valencia peanuts are primarily grown in New Mexico. Listed below is an article from the Southeast Farm Press titled, Improved Peanut Varieties in Pipeline. This article offers an extended list of peanut varieties by type.
Many old and new peanut varieties are being tested for field performance, and their oils are being analyzed for diesel performance characteristics (Durham, 2007). It has been found that high-oleic-acid peanuts are desired for extended shelf life of food products and also makes the best biodiesel fuel.
Scientists at the ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory at Dawson, Ga., in collaboration with the University of Georgia, are testing 24 high-oil peanut varieties that have reduced production costs and increased yields (Durham, 2007). This biodiesel screening project is noted for breeding a peanut called Georganic. It's not suited to current commercial edible standards for peanuts, but is high in oil and has low production input costs.
These researchers have demonstrated at multiple sites that low input, high yielding peanuts can produce a ton per acre for surprisingly low input costs (Roberson, 2007). Research at the University of Georgia has pegged peanut biodiesel at 123 gallons per acre, based on state average yields, which are 500-600 pounds per acre higher than the low input peanuts in the USDA test. Some researchers contend once better varieties are developed, along with more efficient conversion practices, production may reach 150 gallons per acre. Please be aware that the Peanut Variety Protection Act (PVP) and the awarding of utility patents to the high oleic characteristic may limit the production or sale of seed of certain varieties (Gorbet, Tillman, and Whitty, 2006).
Also listed below is a 2007 report from the University of Georgia on the economics of peanuts for biodiesel production. In addition, ATTRA will be releasing an organic peanut production publication soon. Please continue to check our website or contact us for information on its availability.
Durham, Sharon. 2007. “Peanuts Studied as Source of Biodiesel.” Beltsville, MD.
Gorbet, D.W., B.L. Tillman, and E.B. Whitty. 2006. “Farmer Saved Peanut Seed: Factors to Consider.” Gainsville, FL. Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
Hill, Amanda, Al Kurki, and Mike Morris. 2006. “Biodiesel: The Sustainability Dimensions.” ATTRA Publication. Butte, MT: National Center for Appropriate Technology. Pages 4-5.
Piedmont Biofuels. 2008. “Biodiesel Production for On-Farm Use.” ATTRA. Butte, MT: The National Center for Appropriate Technology. Slide 17.
Roberson, Roy. 2007. “Peanut Biodiesel Could Save Farmers Millions.” Western Farm Press, May 2007.
Hollis, Paul. 2008. “Improved Peanut Varieties in Pipeline.” Southeast Farm Press, February 26, 2008.
McKissick, John, George Shumaker, and Nathan Smith. 2007. “Economics of Peanuts for Biodiesel Production.” Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia.
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