Diesel tree could help South Africa’s biofuel industry

July 14, 2018 |

In South Africa, Christo Smit, a former researcher at the Agricultural Research Council, is carrying out trials on the diesel tree (Millettia pinnata) to see if it can help South Africa’s biofuels future. The same mills that press soya and sunflower could be used to press diesel tree oil seeds making it a viable option in South Africa. Smit was about to source seed from Pakistan that contained some of the genetic characteristics that he was looking for in the tree to achieve higher oil production.

“The market might not justify biofuel production yet, but in a few years, rising concern over greenhouse gas emissions and looming carbon taxes might force South Africa to use more environmentally-friendly fuel sources,” Smit told Farmers Weekly. “It’s better to prepare for this eventuality than to wait for it to be thrust on you. Diesel trees perform best when planted in good-quality soils, but they’re more saline-resistant than most other crops, making them suitable for marginal soils.”

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Category: Fuels

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