Camelina is an annual plant with prolific small, pale-yellow flowers with four petals, attains heights of 1 to 3 feet and has branched stems that become woody at maturity. Leaves are arrow-shaped, sharp-pointed and about 3 inches long with smooth edges. Seed pods are the size and shape of a small pea. The seeds are very small, amounting to about 400,000 seeds per pound, and they are 40 percent oil, compared to 20 percent with soybeans.

Biodiesel Basics

Biodiesel is a renewable, nontoxic and biodegradable alternative fuel. It burns cleaner than fuel made from petroleum and can be produced from domestic renewable resources. Unlike diesel fuel, which is made from petroleum, biodiesel is manufactured using vegetable oils, animal fats, or grease.

Today’s Biodiesel Use
The cost efficiency of biodiesel is causing it to become a fast-growing fuel option for fleet vehicles such as garbage trucks, snowplows, mail trucks, military vehicles and school buses. Any vehicle that operates on diesel fuel can switch to biodiesel without engine modifications. As the number of public biodiesel fueling stations continues to grow, popularity with individual customers is on the rise as well.

In addition to fueling any diesel engine (including aircrafts and marine vessels), biodiesel can also fuel diesel generators, replace oil in home heating, work as a lubricant, or be used for asphalt or paint removal.

Biodiesel - A Sound Environmental Choice
Biodiesel’s lower emissions make it more environmentally friendly than petroleum diesel. Biodiesel produces fewer air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, making it safer in our air and reducing the cancer risk of diesel exhaust by 94%. Greenhouse gas is reduced as well, at 80% less than that produced by petroleum diesel.

The Biodiesel Economic Advantage
In creating a demand for the feed stocks used to produce biodiesel, we trade a national dependence on imported oil for a stimulated agricultural economy. The price for a bushel of soybeans has already seen a dramatic increase and alternative crops like canola and now camelina provide even more economically advantageous production choices for farmers.

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