Researchers from the University of New Hampshire are growing five varieties of sunflowers to see which is best for biodiesel production. They are testing different varieties of sunflowers that grow to different sizes and dry at different rates after dying off. Then the seeds can be harvested and turned into sunseed oil, which will be cycled through a mobile biodiesel manufacturing station.

Sunflowers provide more biodiesel potential in the Northeast than soybeans. The idea is to create a viable agriculture program that allows farmers to produce their own fuel for tractors and other farm equipment. Researchers are hoping to produce 130 gallons of biodiesel per acre of sunflowers. If successful, farmers could also use the oil to heat their homes.

[Source: Union Leader]


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