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Trailer Mounted 3 Ton per day press
Summer 2006

First Road Fuel
Spring 2006

NRES Oilseed Crush Workshop
Biodiesel, Ethanol, Biomass, Gasification and Oilseed

Replacement of liquid petroleum fuels can be accomplished using agricultural commodities and waste products to produce ethanol, biodiesel and methane gas. Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems works to not only produce these materials in an efficient and effective manner, but uses only renewable energy in the process. This is most effectively done at farm scale and below, further fostering our belief in the viability of the decentralized model for production of energy where it is being produced, on the farm.

Biodiesel Production

Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems is the first licensed producer of biodiesel in the State of Nebraska and is in the forefront of commercial developments in the state. We have produced the first licensed biodiesel in the state using canola, soy (RBD and crude), sunflower, brown mustard, linseed, Waste vegetable oil (WVO), beef tallow and pork lard (animal fats grown on the energy farm). Both methyl ester and ethyl ester versions of these fuels were also produced. While on the surface a tremendous feat, it clearly shows the acute need for rapid development in this area in Nebraska. For information regarding producer licensing, review Biodiesel Producer Standards promulgated by the Nebraska Motor Fuels Department.

While Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems will continue to provide technical support and guidance for commercial undertakings in the state, we are convinced that the most effective model for biodiesel production remains with those that utilize agricultural raw materials, maximize local synergies and are focused on regional markets (farm/community scale). The beauty of the biodiesel model at this scale is that it represents the epitome of adding value to ag-products at the producer level. The separation of the oil from the meal of the oilseed alone represents a doubling of the value of every pound of oil produced. Further refinement and conversion to biodiesel adds value up to five times the cost of production of the oil in the oilseed raw material.

Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems is committed to supporting those who are serious about producing fuel using the local model and is currently consulting to groups across the nation who see the value in this model. However, our focus will always be on the great state of Nebraska. Further regulatory information and links are available through the biofuels page of the Nebraska Renewable Energy Association, www.Nebraskarea.org.

To learn about growing crops for better biodiesel, download our pdf.

Ethanol Production

The growth of commercial scale ethanol in Nebraska is growing by leaps and bounds after a long stretch of watching growth in surrounding states. Despite the prolific quantities of ethanol produced in the state, this material is not available to the general public. While large scale ethanol production is required before significant replacement of petroleum fuels can occur, the full value of ethanol production can only be realized when the feedstock producer processes this material for themselves. 190 proof alcohol will perform admirably in properly equipped engines. The need for 200 proof alcohol serves only biodiesel production and mixing with petroleum unleaded. A benefit of current technology is that the ability to produce 200 proof alcohol economically has been greatly enhanced with reduced cost associated with the mass production of the required zeolite resin used as a molecular sieve.

Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems has experience with commercial ethanol production and is building farm scale ethanol capacity. We support fuel formulations like EM-95 that includes no petroleum 'reformulation'. Ethanol should be produced where the raw materials are grown. Because of the nature of the fermentation process and the need for BATF registration and denaturing, ethanol production on the farm is not for the faint of heart. We are currently working with several farm scale ethanol operations that have their roots in the 1970's. Stay in touch for updates or feel free to contact us.


A buzz word to say the least, biomass is a very broad term used to describe new carbon based energy sources. While typically associated with cellulose, biomass includes products and material of biological (carbon-based) origin, which is quite broad. Examples of biomass derived energy includes ethanol, biodiesel, methane and wood or "wood-like" heating pellets, chips and or logs. It is not associated with wind, solar and geothermal energy systems.

Biomass energy is, however, derived from the sun but is stored in various forms by biological processes. Commonly known storage devices for biomass energy includes vegetable oils, starches, cellulose, proteins, fats, etc. Nature is amazing how it is able to store this energy at room temperature, without pressure, using only enzymatic pathways. Man cannot even use such methods to release the energy, not to mention, storing it.

Biomass encompasses much of what we have outlined in biofuels already, but also presents other opportunities to recapture the energy stored in new carbon. One of these methods is called gasification. Gasification: This process uses combustion with an oxygen deficient atmosphere to reduce the new carbon (old carbon coal was historically used like this) components into the basic building block of organic chemistry called syngas. This syngas, comprised of H2 and CO2 can then be recombined as needed to form any liquid fuel desired. The Germans used this very effectively to make liquid fuels from coal in two world wars.

NRES feels that gasification of new carbon 'wastes' have a natural fit on the energy farm and we will be embarking on a research pilot to this end in late 2007. Contact us if you are considering such a project.

Oilseed Press

The conversion of the available energy all around us into usable forms does not occur by magic. Various types of capital investment are required to accomplish this process, which varies from the column of the ethanol still to the manure collection systems for methane to the screw presses required to separate the vegetable oil from the meal of the oilseed. Here we discuss the oilseed crush to separate oil from the seed using rotary screw presses:

Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems operates oilseed crush equipment on renewable energy alone. We realize it is a high standard, but it is in line with the energy independent model we live by. We have searched the world for cost-effective systems that can be operated with minimum maintenance and require the least maintenance. We have found this equipment in India and Germany. Because of the centuries of experience working with oilseeds and a very decentralized farming system, equipment of all shapes and sizes may be obtained appropriate to each application which are both cost effective and durable. One must be careful, however, not all presses are created equally and there is a lot of junk on the market. Our partnership with Indian and the German companies has expanded greatly.

The ability to add value to and/or extract energy from agricultural raw materials will be a differentiator for farmers and renewable energy producers that make a profit in the coming years. The artificially depressed compensation for collecting the energy stored in ag commodities will become more obvious as the payments dwindle and land rents skyrocket. In our opinion, producers need to revisit the age old models that have kept the farm energy independent for years.

NRES has toured and worked with many oilseed processing facilities across the US and India and we were always very impressed with these operations and the resourcefulness shown in each application. Although the same basic principles are used throughout the industry, each facility has developed their own 'twist' on things and developed what works best for them.

Grape-Seed Oil: In the last year and a half NRES has been working with grape-seed for grape- seed oil and other food, feed and fuel uses. This high valued oil does not come from a typical oilseed (to be an oil seed its must contain at least 20% oil, which grape-seeds do not) but rather the properties associated with the oil are so valuable that recycling of the grape-waste (better known as pomace) to add value to the wine-grape industry is feasible here in Nebraska based on the trials of 2011 and 2012. If you would like to know more about this research visit our research and products and services pages.

The oilseed press is the key piece of equipment that allows the individual to access oil based renewable energy being grown in the field. Pressed oil has a number of uses from feed to fuel and NRES can assist in system design to fit your specific application. For more information regarding oilseed press systems and equipment, contact NRES or please go to www.nebraskascrewpress.com.