Previously it was the ‘Diesel Tree’ being gown in Northern Queensland. Now in the far south of Australia, in Tasmania we find a plan to extract biodiesel for poppy seed. The small island state supplies about half of the world’s medicinal opiate market, with 1,000 or so farmers growing the crop under strict license for use in the manufacture of morphine and codeine. The poppy seeds have no effective narcotic content and are used as a nutty additive to breads. The seeds holds up to 50% of a high quality oil similar to sunflower oil. It is this oil, a by-product of the medicinal cultivation that is being considered as a biodiesel feed-stock.Poppy seeds are already apparently being used as furnace oil. The idea now is for entrepreneurial firm, Macquarie Oils, to annually turn the seeds into 5 million litres of biofuel, for use by large corporate customers such as Hydro Tasmania and Metro Buses. The company is not afraid of experimenting. They have already worked with or or investigating the viability of fennel, industrial hemp, linseed, mustard, used cooking oil and tallow. ::Stateline, via Ecomedia.
Photo: ABC News: Damien McIntyre