SA Biofuels turns mustard seeds into diesel at Tailem Bend

A machine that can turn oil seeds into diesel fuel has been unveiled at Tailem Bend.

Farmers who grow mustard seeds – or have excess soya beans or canola, safflower or sunflower seeds – can feed them into the machine and reap fuel at a rate of 150 litres per hour.

A byproduct of the process can also be sold and funds returned to the community.

South Australian Biofuels, who launched the scheme at a site near the Big Olive on Saturday morning, will recoup their costs by charging a fee per litre of fuel produced.

Engineering manager Morgan Hunter said the machine had been developed in SA with the intention of decentralising the fuel production cycle.

"We've been doing trials in Victoria for four years with mustard seed," he said.

"That can grow anywhere wheat can grow and only needs about 150 millimetres of rain, so quite marginal areas.

"You can put canola in it, but canola's probably too valuable a crop."

He said the machine used 13 watts of power per litre of fuel produced, about 10 times less than its competitors.