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Thread: Pressing oil from acorns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Bathurst
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    Pressing oil from acorns

    This may seem like an odd question, but we have 3 large oaks and have hundreds of thousands of acorns pile down on us every year.

    We were curious if they could be pressed for oil to be used in biodiesel?

    Anyone head of such a thing? Or am I a little crazy

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    You may like to search the internet for "oil content of acrons" or a similar phrase. This should tell you whether the oil content is high enough to justify the experiment. If it is, take your trucl load of acorns to an oilseed press and have them press the oil for you. I am sure that there will be some use for the meal (the solids remaining after oil extraction), which will offset the pressing costs and provide some income as well.
    Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 20th May 2006 at 10:49 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    I found a site that details the properties of acorn oil...

    TABLE 4. ACORN OIL
    Species Quercus Quercus 5 other Olive Corn
    agrifolia ilex speciesa
    Specific 0.9170 0.9086 0.9100 0.914-.919 0.916-921
    gravity
    Refractive index 1.4709 1.4701 1.4627 1.466-1.468 1.470-1.474
    Saponification 192.3 189.05 191.45 187-196 187-196
    value
    Olieic acid% -- 57.05 58.31 83.5-84.4 19-49
    Palmatic acid% -- 12.40 11.43 6.9-9.4 8-12
    Linoleic acid% -- 30.50 37.50 4.0-4.6 34-62
    Flash point -- -- 360C 343C 393C

    Does all that mean anything to anyone?

  4. #4
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    mulgunnia,
    That is excellent information, but the numbers you need are %oil content of the acorn itself. Did that site indicate the melting point of Acorn Oil?

  5. #5
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony From West Oz
    mulgunnia,
    That is excellent information, but the numbers you need are %oil content of the acorn itself. Did that site indicate the melting point of Acorn Oil?
    No, it have found some sites saying its similar to olive oil and others saying similar to penut.

    Yeild seems to be about 5-30% depending on the tree. They are a pretty jucy looking nut. Tastes real bad

    I have found a research paper comparing distilation of higher boiling methal esters is between 90 and 128 which it compares to penul oil being between 127 - 176.
    http://article.pubs.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/p...le=v53-151.pdf

    Not sure if that indicates boiling point.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    California
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    Dear Friends:

    This sacred valley was once blessed with millions of oak trees that provided tons of acorns for the native people. The Indians gave thanks for the oaks and their nutritious nuts, which also fattened deer, elk and antelope. Today, of course, many oaks have been cut down to make room for commercial agriculture and housing. About the only use we have for oak trees today is shade and firewood.

    Yet, the great abundance of acorns this fall has caused me to wonder if we are overlooking a rich source of biodiesel fuel, available right here in Tehama County? According to a study on the "Uses of Acorns" (David Bainbridge: UC Riverside, 1986), these bountiful nuts are comparable to olives, corn and soybeans in their vegetable oil content. Although Bainbridge's study is focused on the edibility of acorns, it occurred to me that acorn oil could also provide biodiesel fuel that would power any car, truck or electrical generator which had a diesel engine modified to burn vegetable oil.

    The good news is that California already has the processing equipment (used in the olive oil industry) which is necessary for grinding and expelling oil from the acorns. I understand that these machines sit idle out of season. We also have plenty of people out of work who could harvest the nuts. Maybe we could even meet people seeking work at the border, hand them 2 five-gallon buckets, and say "Thank God you are here. Have we got a job for you."

    My guess is that gasoline will be $5 a gallon, or more, by the time Bush leaves office, his "Mission Accomplished!" Wouldn't it be nice if acorns could save us the way they saved the Indians? Mother Earth would be grateful too, since vegetable oil creates far less air-pollution than petroleum diesel fuel.

    Thanks for your attention. If anyone has suggestions on the cultivation of oak trees, and harvesting acorns for fuel, please let me know. We could be growing a renewable, local source of biodiesel fuel and making money for a noble purpose. Wouldn't we all give thanks for an exit strategy that was good for the earth?

    Guy Mount
    Sacramento River Valley
    Email: earthguy@earthlink.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Foresthill, CA
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    hello mulgunnia,
    I have been trying to find a permanent oil supply and came up with the acorn idea. Looks like you thought of it a little before me. I am wondering if you followed up on this idea or if you have any current thoughts on this subject. I have a rather huge quantity of large black oak trees spread out over 20 acres and I don't like depending on restaraunts for an oil supply.

  8. #8
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    May 2006
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    Bathurst
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    No, never got to pressing them.

    But from what I learnt they should produce a fair amount of oil - plus the remaining meal can be sold for animal fodder.

  9. #9
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    May 2008
    Location
    Austin
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    4

    Exclamation Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    Gentlemen - are any of you anywhere near the US?
    I am getting close to trying a couple of varieties, and although at the time it will be through "cottage industry" tools, I will be seeking funding for more serious research soon.
    Any idea on drying vs. only unshelled use for griniding the acorns? I have access to Live Oak (white oak) and possibly, if I am lucky, Red Oak in central Texas.
    ANy thoughts are appreciated

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Re: Pressing oil from acorns

    Oil from acorns is a good idea if you have the existing trees and do not need to produce millions of litres of fuel.

    To grow oakes from scratch to harvest I think you could be looking at anything from 10 to 20 years. Volume of nuts per tree is probably an unknown because nobody has done a commercial harvest before.

    Also, maybe you could apply farming practices to induce the trees to grow more - water and fertilizer, pruning/shaping - whatever it takes. Research orchard cultivation of nut tree species such as wallnut and pecan.

    Harvesting need not be difficult. You could lay out shade cloth around the tree, out to the drip line. Once a day drop in and shake all the fallen nuts to a central point and shovel them into a bucket.
    Slippery
    Small steps taken one at a time.

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