Posts Tagged: Stephen Kaffka
Castor oil makes a comeback
Stephen Kaffka, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, is field testing a variety of potential biofuel crops in California, including castor, wrote Harry Cline in Western Farm Press.
Among the possibilities are canola, amelina, meadowfoam, sugar beets, sweet sorghum, sugar cane and switchgrass. Castor, however, is the only on with a yellow "Do Not Cross" tape circling the experimental plots. The warning stems from the fact that castor beans contain the potent toxin ricin. Ricin is a considered both a chemical and biological weapon, according to the article.
Cline wrote that researchers at Texas AgriLife Extension found castor to be drought and salt tolerant. Kaffka has trials in the San Joaquin Valley, Salinas, Imperial Valley and at UC Davis to verify the Texas work.
Kaffka told a field day audience at the West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points that the oil crop is worth $3,000 to $5,000 per ton, thus the renewed interest in it as a crop with an oil market today in the U.S. and a future market for biofuel.
Kaffka, partners awarded $2 million to develop biofuel
Ventura County Star.
Biodiesel Industries has partnered with Stephen Kaffka, director of the California Biomass Collaborative and UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
Kaffka will conduct research to develop viable biofuel feedstocks at test plots at UC Davis and in Salinas, the Imperial Valley and Five Points in the Central Valley, according to the article.
Biodico President Russell Teall said, "The goal is to develop innovative solar cogeneration, anaerobic digestion and gasification. While Dr. Kaffka will look at the agronomics, Diener will take those results and use them in a larger context. We will be able to take biomass, which can be gasified and used to make heat and power that will provide a very clean form of combustion."
Teall said the project should start in June, with various equipment in place by August or September.