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LIFE SEED CAPITAL - INTEGRAL USE OF OIL SEEDS TO REDUCE GREEN HOUSE GASES EMISSIONS ASSOCIATED WITH FARMING ACTIVITIES

LIFE12 ENV/ES/000590


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Contact details:

Contact person: Fernández YOLANDA
Tel: 34944034300
Fax: 34944034310
Email: yfernandez@neiker.net



Project description:

Background

The use of fossil fuels accounts for 8% per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural production. However, vegetable oil is an interesting bio-fuel alternative for use in agrarian systems, since it can be produced on the farm. Oil can be extracted mechanically with a ram press that uses a piston inside a cage to crush the oilseed and force out the oil into a tank. The use of rapeseed oil has been shown by studies to reduce GHG emissions by up to 57% compared to diesel fuel.

Livestock are the major source of anthropogenic methane emissions. Domesticated ruminant animals produce significant amounts of methane (CH4) as part of their normal digestive processes. However, studies have shown that increasing the fat content of animal feed can reduce the methane produced by the fermentation process. For every 1% increase in dietary fat in ruminant nutrition, methane production is reduced by 5.6%.


Objectives

LIFE SEED CAPITAL project aims to present and demonstrate ways of saving energy and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in agrarian systems based on 100% exploitation of oilseed. It firstly aims to extract rapeseed oil as a sustainable replacement for diesel fuel in agricultural machinery. It secondly targets the use of the residual cake for improved animal feed with a higher fat content, resulting in lower methane emissions from the ruminants.

The first part of the project iwill demonstrate the potential of vegetable oils blended with diesel as a fuel for farm machinery. It will show how to mechanically extract and purify the oil from oilseed rape on the farm. It will assess the quality of the oil obtained and define the parameters for mixing it with diesel to create a more sustainable fuel blend. Its use will then be tested on the farm, with revisions after every 5 000 km for vehicles and after every 600 working hours for machines to ensure the maintenance of performance.

The by-product of the oil extraction process is a solid residue rich in fat. The second part of the project aims to demonstrate the use of this oilseed cake in the formulation of ruminant feeds that reduce enteric methane production in the animals. The project will formulate at least 50 experimental recipes for ruminant feed containing cold-pressed rapeseed cake.

The project will monitor the GHG reductions resulting from the implementation of 100% exploitation of oilseed. It will define a scheme for evaluating CO2 emissions and characterise the carbon and energy balance of the monitored fields over a minimum of 50 ha. The project hopes overall to demonstrate a contribution to EU 2020 targets on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and use of renewables.

Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results:

  • Demonstration of the 100% valorisation of oilseed;
  • Definition of the optimum mix of vegetable and diesel oils for use as fuel in agricultural machinery – and control parameters for the fuel's use, including conservation time and compatibility with polymers and metals used in tanks;
  • Demonstration that the consumption of biofuels can be increased about 20-40% without major problems in farm machinery;
  • Reduction of GHG emissions and improved carbon and energy balance from biofuel use;
  • Reduction of enteric methane production by about 10-20% from use of oilseed cake in ruminant feed; and
  • Demonstration of the economic feasibility of this alternative agrarian system for farmers.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Energy - Supply
Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies


Keywords

animal foodstuff‚  Agriculture‚  emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas‚  biofuel


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator NEIKER-INSTITUTO VASCO DE INVESTIGACION Y DESARROLLO AGRARIO
Type of organisation Research institution
Description NEIKER is the Basque Institute of Agrarian Research and Development. It is a non-profit body of the Regional Government’s Department of the Environment. It undertakes strategic and applied research in fields including agriculture, livestock and sustainable production systems.
Partners Fundación CETENA, Spain

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Project reference LIFE12 ENV/ES/000590
Duration 02-SEP-2013 to 30-SEP -2016
Total budget 1,024,766.00 €
EU contribution 512,382.00 €
Project location País Vasco(España)

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Project web site Project's website

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version