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Wyatt Brush

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since Dec 17, 2014
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hugelkultur trees greening the desert
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Meade County, South Dakota
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Recent posts by Wyatt Brush

I have melted both #2 and #4 plastic in an oven before, and you don't really smell it unless it starts to scorch. I have read that #1 burns quite cleanly, so the fumes may not be so bad on that one either. Now vinyl on the other hand...
I saw Precious Plastic on a different Permies post several months ago, and it really is an exciting idea! They are working on developing version 3.0 over on the Precious Plastic forums.
5 years ago
WOW! That is really neat! I have melted both HDPE and LDPE bags down, to make solid blocks, but it has been very time consuming. I cut the bags up small, but I still end up with air bubbles in the blocks. For the most part, I think that I have not been able to compress the molten plastic hard enough. Here I have been trying to fit recycled plastic into my woodworking interest, when it appears to better fit into my textiles interest! I will have to try this sometime now!
6 years ago

Wyatt Brush wrote:Gmail says that Part 2 came 22 hours ago. Thank you!

Just so that you know, I have been getting the Daily-ish Emails.
Gmail says that Part 2 came 22 hours ago. Thank you!
I use gmail. Your first set of tests a couple of weeks ago, gave me no problems, I got both messages just fine. This test I only got the first message. It has been over 3 hours, and I have not gotten the second email yet. Thank you for all the work you do, to try to get things running right.
When I was a young boy, my best friend's parents loaned him and I some pallets and wood posts, so that we could build a "fort". We measured one pallet, and set the posts accordingly. We put the first pallet in between the first two posts, and tied it in with baling twine. It fit beautifully! We put the second pallet in and, UH-OH! As it turned out, every pallet was a different size than any of the others. We got our "fort" built, but only the first pallet looked good, the rest had varying sized gaps between them and the posts. One pallet was way too wide to fit between the posts, so we had to stand it on end, then the gap was huge! Lesson learned: Check measurements on ALL materials before you start a project!
6 years ago

John Wolfram wrote:

Wyatt Brush wrote:55 Gallon Drums are not free around here. If you can find them for sale, they are between $15 and $25 each. You can sometimes find plastic ones for $10, but that won't work very well for roofing a shed.

That's about what they go for around me too. Any free metal is generally scooped up by the scrappers pretty quickly. Based on the dimensions of a 55 gallon drum, when flattened you end up with about 16.5 square feet of roofing, or 90 cents a square foot based on a $15 drum. My local big box home improvement store is selling 12 foot by 3 foot panels of metal roofing for $22.03. That works out to 61 cents a square foot for something that is ready to go.

My Dad and I have gotten used metal roofing, just for the cost of tearing down old buildings that land owners want taken off of their property taxes. The downside of used roofing, is that it usually already has rust, and already has holes in it.
I have seen at least one building that was shingled with what looked like the tops and bottoms of barrels. The roof kind of looked like fish scales.
6 years ago
55 Gallon Drums are not free around here. If you can find them for sale, they are between $15 and $25 each. You can sometimes find plastic ones for $10, but that won't work very well for roofing a shed.
6 years ago

Dillon Nichols wrote:Wyatt, your link isn't working as posted for me, but it seems like maybe this is where you meant it to point? http://www.agmrc.org/commodities-products/grains-oilseeds/pennycress/

The link states 800lbs per acre as a reasonable conventional farm production yield, with aerial seeding, chemical fertilizers, and combine harvesting. With 'up to' 36% oil content, this would translate to a theoretical max of 288lbs per acre from your 800lbs of seed. Assuming it weighs about the same as canola oil, this is about 36.5 gallons of oil. I'm not sure how efficient the biodiesel process would be with this oil, so I don't know how much biodiesel that ~36.5 gallons would translate into.

The big question in my mind is how could one harvest enough of these tiny seeds to get a meaningful yield, without involving a combine!

Interesting document containing oil/acre stats for quite a few crops here: http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/biodiesel_sustainable.html

36.5 gallons/acre is on the low end of the crops discussed. That doesn't mean there isn't some niche where this would be a good fit. Soybeans, which produce most of the virgin biodiesel feedstock, are only a bit higher yielding in terms of oil... but the oil is essentially byproduct of the more valuable, and subsidized, livestock fodder.

Yes, your link works, and mine doesn't. They must have changed the URL since I posted the link.
I can attest to the fact that you cannot get enough seeds to do much, harvesting by hand. If you had harvesting machinery already for another grain crop, you probably could get enough seeds. As for the practicality of raising Pennycress at home, for making your own biodiesel, I have no idea. I am just excited about a despised weed becoming an emerging crop. I am just throwing this information out here, just in case it is of value to people that are making biodiesel at home. I have never made biodiesel myself.
Personally, I think the mindset of "here is a weed that grows so well that it is a bother, but now we are going to raise it as a crop, so let's dump fertilizer by the ton on it", is silly. I would think that you could get just as good of a crop, without the fertilizer, if your soil was healthy.
6 years ago

hunter holman wrote:what do you use to press it out? and how much do you have to grow to get a litre?

I don't know. I harvested some wild grown Pennycress by hand, this summer, but it took forever. I wanted to try to extract some oil, but because of all the time that went into harvesting the seeds, I decided to save them for use as a spice instead. If I had machinery like this: http://www.eqmachinery.com/index/products I could have enough seed, to try out extracting the oil. You can get a hand cranked oil press: https://www.lehmans.com/p-4290-hand-cranked-oil-press.aspx, but I was just going to try grinding the seeds, then boiling the flour in water, and skimming the oil off the top. I heard that that is how the American "Indians" processed the oil out of sunflower seeds.
6 years ago