Rapeseed - Local Energy for People and Engines

Gundula Broich, Sebastian Benden, Juliane Mielke

We study rapeseed plants, the nutritional importance of their oil and their significance for biofuels. Initially, we focused on rapeseed plants and their impact on the environment. Rapeseed plants require a lot of nutrients, in particular nitrate, which can pollute the groundwater. We studied experimentally how fertilization methods (manure, mineral fertilizer, effective microorganisms) affect the groundwater and the growth of rapeseed plants. Furthermore, we investigated health aspects of rapeseed oil, created a questionnaire and interviewed 100 people about cooking oils. Now we are looking into whether rapeseed oil is suitable as a source of renewable energy. We made biodiesel and we are investigating its properties. In particular, we conducted experiments in order to compare the properties of biodiesel to those of other fuels.

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