Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen

From oats for horses to vegetable oil for farm machines

The Rapeseed Oil Combined Heat and Power Unit’ project is a public-private partnership. Its main success is the showcase presentation of the extraction of fuel-quality rapeseed oil and its failure-free application in diesel engines. Significant progress, recognised across Europe, has been made in the field of cold pressing with the setting up of the research oil mill at Suberg and the development of a process for the adsorptive removal of the decisive quality parameters phosphorus and the earth-alkali metals magnesium and calcium. The knowledge necessary for on-going operations will have been gathered by autumn 2008 in the project’s own combined heat and power unit using oil from regional grown rapeseed. This knowledge, together with the extensive results from the test bench measurements on the project engine at the HTA in Biel, is forming the basis for the detailed layout design of the planned combined heat and power unit in the niche market of 100 – 300 kW. This will be subject to later reporting along with the technical status of plant oil conversion technology. All previous results and knowledge from the static and mobile areas explicitly indicate that this reference project is a specialised contribution to the high demands of energy supply, climate protection and world food provision. The Swiss government’s decision at the end of January 2008 to exempt ecological, biogenous fuel from mineral oil taxes has created clear conditions.

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