Farmers in southeast Iceland have begun production of canola oil for the purpose of making biofuel.
As reported, Icelandic interest in biofuel production has been a long time coming. The energy company N1 has, for the past three years now, put tens of millions of crowns into the research and development of manufacturing biodiesel from canola oil.
N1 director Hermann Guðmundsson told RÚV at the time that the next step would be determining where it would be most beneficial to grow the flowers which produce the oil. “We see some exciting opportunities in the south of Iceland, as well as in Skagafjörður and Eyjafjörður, where there are large areas that would be prime for growing canola, in our estimation,” he said in part.
RÚV now reports that farmers in Hornafjörður, in southeast Iceland, have begun to grow the flowers for making biofuel. Although only in the first real growing season, project manager Sveinn Rúnar Ragnarsson is confident that this will lead to full scale production.
Benefits of growing canola for biofuel include the fact that domestically grown canola would reduce by as much as one-third or more the amount of diesel Iceland needs to import. It would possibly reduce fuel costs for captains. Also, canola production is surprisingly inexpensive, with little overhead. The crushed seeds from which the oil is extracted can be used in livestock feed, and of course, the oil itself is used in cooking.