Rapeseed the Power Plant
Berlin, 16 May 2017 – Over 1.3 million hectares of rapeseed oil fields are blossoming in Germany at the moment. The plants store the sun’s energy in the seeds and in the rapeseed oil derived from these seeds. Its energy density is comparable to that of diesel fuel. As a result, rapeseed oil and the rapeseed methyl ester produced from it, better known as biodiesel, is by far the most important fuel alternative certified as sustainable in Germany and Europe. This certification of sustainability also applies to all rapeseed cultivation in Germany, regardless of the end use, meaning it even applies to rapeseed cooking oil. The fact that only rapeseed free of genetic modification is cultivated in European Union countries is also very important for many consumers. This means that rapeseed meal, which is produced alongside rapeseed oil during pressing, is likewise free of genetic modification. This is a significant advantage compared to soya imports which are not usually free of genetic modification. Rapeseed meal thus provides protein feed that allows dairy products, eggs or beef to be labelled “GM-free”.
The rapeseed plants are real power plants. From just two to three kilogrammes of seed sown per hectare, around 3,800 kilogrammes of rapeseed is produced at harvest just eleven months later. This yields 1,600 litres of rapeseed oil and 2,300 kilogrammes of GM-free rapeseed extraction meal. The use of rapeseed as a fuel ensures a guaranteed saving of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 compared to conventional diesel fuels - per hectare.