A new type of biofuel using peanuts could be the answer to hi diesel prices as well as be kinder to the environment.
The diesel fuel developed by this project could be used for private vehicles, tractor-trailers, commercial planes, trains and more, a researcher associated with the project said.
By ending the shortage of diesel fuel, prices should sharply decrease for consumers.
Peanuts were specifically chosen for the program because they are easier to grow than alternatives, require less acreage and minimize water usage. An acre of land can produce around 350 gallons fuel, whereas the same space could only produce 25-50 gallons from soybean oil.
The peanuts involved in the project are being grown to produce more oil, because the higher the oil content in the nut, the more diesel fuel that they can produce.
Good for the North American Economy
Titled the “‘Diesel Nut Project,” the effort will also have positive impacts on the US economy, since the peanuts used for the project will be primarily grown by American farmers (if not entirely grown within the states).
Texas is particularly ideal for peanut farming because of the state’s soil and climate.
Over 583,200,000 pounds of peanuts were produced in Texas during 2021, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Better for the Environment
Chevron, a large diesel fuel producer, aims to produce 100,000 barrels of renewable fuel per day by 2030, according to an article from the university’s communication department.
Early studies show that diesel fuel produced from peanuts might be more environmentally friendly than traditional fuel because it outputs significantly less carbon into the atmosphere - ultimately reducing the effects of climate change.
When it comes to food waste, this process could minimize losses from farmers - which has positive economic and environmental ties. If a batch of peanuts spoils, due to say fungus, they’re unfit for human consumption. But, this doesn’t mean the batch would be unfit for biofuel. The farmers would be able to make a profit either way.