Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Peanut powered truck

A truck powered by peanuts
  (+13)(+13)
(+13)
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against]

I thought this idea would be great for Jimmy Carter! Just take a regular diesel powered truck and fill the load area up with peanuts. Mount between the load and the fuel tank a machine that extracts oil from the peanuts. The truck runs on peanut oil just as Diesel himself intended. The waste product from the oil extraction could be formed into dry peanut biscuits and cooked using heat from the trucks exhaust as a tasty snack for the driver. If the driver has eaten enough peanut biscuits he could sell them to passing motorists.
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 03 2008

Peanut biodiesel http://www.renewabl...news/story?id=46465
[MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2008]

Somehoe this seems appropo... http://www.geocitie...doorpathbeater.html
A classic... [RayfordSteele, Jan 08 2008]

[link]






       There's a lot of scope here for subsidiary methane production...
Ned_Ludd, Jan 03 2008
  

       Set the peanuts on fire and use the heat to power a Stirling engine to run the truck.
elhigh, Jan 03 2008
  

       Or pyrolyse the peanuts in an anaerobic digester, and burn the resutant fuel gases.
8th of 7, Jan 03 2008
  

       If you drove this past my place you'd be chased by squirrels.   

       (I would've said monkeys and elephants but I don't live there.)
skinflaps, Jan 03 2008
  

       Speaking of elephants, don't they bake the notion of a peanut powered freight machine?
Noexit, Jan 03 2008
  

       George Washington Carver would be pleased.
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2008
  

       How much energy do you get from the peanuts for their cost? and how much would you sell the peanut biscuits for?
BJS, Jan 03 2008
  

       Peanuts contain about 50% oil by weight, though not all of this can be extracted easily. The oil itself has roughly the same energy content as any other oil.   

       Incidentally, peanut-derived biodiesel has already been produced and used (eg, see link).
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2008
  

       There's a separate unit powered by soya beans.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2008
  

       No, silly. The soya bean crusher is powered by a solar panel which is illuminated by a lamp fed by the alternator on the diesel engine. Do try to keep up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2008
  

       If the truck were to use oil from non-edible peanuts, which are being developed by the University of Georgia (read link), then you can't make or sell the peanut biscuits.
BJS, Jan 04 2008
  

       Yes, I didn't understand the logic behind that. The reasoning seemed to be "Peanut oil is used by the food industry; therefore peanut oil is too expensive to use for biodiesel; therefore we must create an inedible peanut". Daft, daft, and daft.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2008
  

       I think that the goal of the genetically altered peanuts is not to make them so that they do not have to compete with peanuts meant for human consumption by making them inedible, but merely to create peanuts which have a higher oil content and would be more suitable for use in diesel engines, making them require less processing, and to be more cost effective. (I hope that makes sense and is correct.)
BJS, Jan 04 2008
  

       // The truck runs on peanut oil just as Diesel himself intended //   

       Wow Johnny Diesel intended that, is there anything that man can't do.
Brett-Blob, Jan 04 2008
  

       Actually the very first Diesel engines ran on powdered coal, and only after it was realized that powdered coal was a very dangerous fuel did he use peanut oil.   

       Being of Italian herritage, I personally would prefer the olive-oil powered car (Alfa Romeo, perhaps?) with the olive press in the boot (in keeping with this idea). And with olives being more naturally oily I'd imagine it would be a lot easier to extract the oil.
acurafan07, Jan 04 2008
  

       The Italian Truck would have an stylish aerodynamic cab, chrome trim and a sporty sounding exhaust note and everyone would want one, except those truckers that have developed a liking for peanut biscuits.
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 04 2008
  

       "non-edible peanuts" "developed by the University of Georgia" "... therefore we must create an inedible peanut."   

       Are you effing KIDDING ME? I hadn't heard any of this.   

       <reads link>   

       Oh my stars and garters. Okay, that does seem a bit more sensible - there are oil-heavy varieties already out there that aren't much good for commercial use; these guys just want to build on that.   

       <looks at link again>   

       What the hell is "fossil fuel-based biodiesel?" It's either fossil diesel - aka petrodiesel - or biodiesel, aka biodiesel. What are they trying to say here?
elhigh, Jan 04 2008
  

       I think it's regular diesel supplemented with bio-diesel. This makes sense - it allows you to use a wider range of bio- derived oils and still have a useable fuel. And, since biodiesel is still a minority product, there's no point in using it "neat" in a small number of vehicles. It makes more sense to have 100% of vehicles running on 1% biodiesel than to have 1% of vehicles running on 100% biodiesel.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2008
  

       Either that or some of that decomposed dinosaur fossil fuel... organic... bio-fossil... err.. stuff.
ConsulFlaminicus, Jan 04 2008
  

       I wonder if you could mix ethanol and pure vegetable oil at, say, a 70/ 30 ratio and have it work in a spark ignited engine... Well it would have about 93 octane.
acurafan07, Jan 04 2008
  

       The very first cars ran on environmentally friendly fuels such as peanut oil, alcohol and steam. But then gas and diesel became cheap and plentiful and here we are today...   

       That said, I don't think this idea would make a very economical vehicle, but [+] for the peanut biscuits!
Spacecoyote, Jan 04 2008
  

       // 93 octane //   

       The problem with a blended fuel like that is that you can preferentially lose the light fraction, causing sooting of the plugs. Also, don't confuse octane number with burn speed; diesels rev much more slowly than gasoline engines because the whole combustion reaction for heavy oil proceeds much more slowly, even under the conditions of high compression and temperature present in a diesel head during injection.
8th of 7, Jan 04 2008
  

       Well if I were to even try and implement it, I would use two separate tanks and mix the fuel right before injection. I know that diesels burn much more slowly, hence the significantly lower redlines, but I imagine with 70% ethanol the burn speed of the fuel in total would be much shorter. And I didn't confuse octane with burn speed; I remember reading that biodiesel has an octane of around 50, and reading that ethanol has an octane of 113. Simple math brought me to the 93.
acurafan07, Jan 04 2008
  

       I think we skipped over the squirrels far too lightly. It would probably be most efficient to power the truck in that manner.   

       There's already squirrel cage blowers, all that's required is a few modifications.
normzone, Jan 04 2008
  

       Can anyone estimate the peanuts per mile fuel consumption baring in mind the oil extracting plant may not be of the most efficient type due to the fact we wish to also use the peanuts for biscuits?   

       How many biscuits could be produced per mile using the onboard biscuit making machine?   

       Can you make a yummy biscuit with just dried up peanuts and rainwater? Do we need on board chickens for egg production?
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 04 2008
  

       The truck would have to be big enough to carry peanuts for a 100 mile range. It would also be required to produce saleworthy peanut biscuits. It would also need to carry the driver and 2 to 3 extra passengers as required and provide for the guard dog and possibly the chickens.
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 04 2008
  

       // biodiesel has an octane of around 50 //   

       Nooo, you misunderstand.   

       Gasoline fuels for spark-ignition are given a notional "Octane Number" (R+M)/2 by comparison to 2-Dimethyl 3-Dimethly Butane (The multi-branched form of Octane) with a notional Octane Number of 100. Aviation fuels (AVGAS) are typically 110 Octane (by adding aryl compounds) and unleaded gasoline for lad vehcles about 92 Octane.   

       Diesel fuels are assigned a "Cetane number". This is similar to an octane number but compares the blended fuel against pure Cetane (C30H62) in its linear form - no isomers.   

       There is no meaningful equivalence between Octane numbers and Cetane numbers.   

       However, your idea of premixing the fuels immediately before injection - the same way that many "self-dosing" 2-strokes add their lubricant - is good, provided that you can control the viscosity of the heavy fraction at low temperatures. Below about 279 K, peanut oil goes cloudy and its viscosity rises rapidly, enough to confuse a basic dosing regulator system.   

       If you're going for ethanol, why not just ferment the peanuts and go for an all-ethanol system ?
8th of 7, Jan 05 2008
  

       //hy not just ferment the peanuts and go for an all-ethanol system// I suspect this would be woefully inefficient. First, you need bugs that will eat fats rather than the usual sugars (probably possible). But then you have huge efficiency issues in any biological interconversion.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 05 2008
  

       // huge efficiency issues in any biological interconversion. //   

       But more acceptable environmental credentials.   

       This is a wild, whacky, off the wall idea, but, well, why not use things for what they're good for ? Peanuts are good to eat and nutritious. It's possible to make peanut flour and peanut butter. Yes, use peanut oil as a lubricant or a biodesel feedstock, by all means, but if you have an edible food product why not use it for that ?   

       If you want ethanol, grow sugar cane....... if you want starch, grow potatoes.   

       Hmmm, chopped boiled potatoes and roasted peanuts fried in dark rum, sugar syrup and peanut oil, over a fire of peanut shells ? Anyone want to try it ?
8th of 7, Jan 05 2008
  

       Would peanut-allergic persons be in peril when stuck in traffic behind one of these trucks? Perhaps the trucks should be painted a special colour and carry emergency kits equipped with Benadryl and epinephrine syringes.
Canuck, Jan 05 2008
  

       Is there any way to find the octane equivalent of biodiesel?
acurafan07, Jan 05 2008
  

       What if the peanuts are burned (including the shells?) to boil water for a steam engine or a converted diesel engine?
BJS, Jan 05 2008
  

       //What if the peanuts are burned//
There'd be no biscuits then.
DenholmRicshaw, Jan 05 2008
  

       True, but if it is that much more efficient, then you wont need the money from selling the biscuits. And maybe you can eat some of the peanuts.
BJS, Jan 05 2008
  

       Actually, [Canuck] has a point there. Suddenly, minimal emissions are not just nice, but vital.
david_scothern, Jan 05 2008
  

       Just had a thought - to make them stand out, if Planters would allow it, we could specify that the driver of any peanut-powered vehicle be required to wear a Mr. Peanut outfit. Not only would they be very visible, but they would also look pretty spiffy with top hat, monocle, spats and a walking stick!
Canuck, Jan 05 2008
  

       //they would also look pretty spiffy with top hat, monocle, spats and a walking stick// I've always found it works for me.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 05 2008
  

       I have tried to resist, but have failed.
The Alfalfa Romeo?
The Renault Legume?
4whom, Jan 05 2008
  

       Designed by Farina, no doubt....
8th of 7, Jan 05 2008
  

       Hah!
4whom, Jan 05 2008
  

       We'll see your Hah!, and raise you a Heh Heh ...
8th of 7, Jan 05 2008
  

       And I'll chip in a Mwahahaha!   

       Oops! There goes the hand dryer...
Canuck, Jan 05 2008
  

       [Canuck], you just made my day.
elhigh, Jan 07 2008
  

       So if the truck does 40MPG (imperial) and a gallon of peanut oil weighs 3447.302 grams   

       If we extract just 25% of the oil from each peanut we need 13.8kg of peanuts for   

       a 40 mile range.   

       A peanut crush speed of about 8 peanuts per second should be sufficient if each peanut weighs .5 gram.   

       Which gives us 10kg of raw materials for biscuit production. At a rate of 3gram per second.   

       You get 1 biscuit each 30 seconds. We may need to microwave cook the biscuits!
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 07 2008
  

       Nice work, Mr. O'Cake.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2008
  

       I think a key component of peanut butter is the oil. Incidentally, is it just my imagination, or have the health nazis brought about a reduction in the salt content of peanut butter lately?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2008
  

       What [BJS] said about burning burning shell and all in an external combustion engine. Carrying around a crusher, a separator and a box o' biscuits is just silly.
baconbrain, Jan 07 2008
  

       To the peanut powered truck driver the most important aspect of his vehicle is that it produces biscuits that taste good. Also at traffic lights he has a chance to sell his biscuits to offset the purchase price of peanuts.   

       Peanuts are expensive. The only way to economically run this truck would be to have a commercial biscuit product whose sales sponsor the fuel.
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 08 2008
  

       Mayhap. I think it would then be more economical to have a peanut crusher at a fixed location, with a biscuit store and a filling station attached. Not as whimsical maybe, but better. [ ]
baconbrain, Jan 08 2008
  

       Maybe you have a point there. I say raise biscuit taxes, they are a luxuary item and use profits to subsidise peanut oil.
Pat-O-Cake, Jan 09 2008
  
      
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