Lv 7
R J asked in Science & MathematicsBotany · 1 decade ago

Making fuel out of pine trees.?

I have read in the past and just lately that the Japanese had run out of oil and were using pine trees for fuel to run machines at the close of WWII. I know it sounds nutty, but pitch, tar and resin all all have pretty low flash points I think. Thanks for your help and research.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It was an idea that was started but was not worthwhile...

    in his book on the cost of warfare Daniel Yergon talks about it, http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-0671799320-31

    "Shortages of fuel were preventing its planes from flying more than two hours a month. Was there no other way to get oil? Desperate for fuel, the Navy launched its fantastic pine root campaign. Guided by the slogan, "two hundred pine roots will keep a plane in the air for an hour," people all over the Home Islands began to dig up pine roots. Children were dispatched to the countryside to scour for the roots. The pine roots were to be heated for twelve hours, producing a crude oil substitute. Thirty-four thousand kettles, stills, and small distillation units were put in place, with the aim of producing three or four gallons of oil per day. The futility of the effort was revealed by the labor requirements. Each gallon produced required 2.5 man-days of work."

  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Woodworking Techniques http://givitry.info/WoodworkingProjects
  • 1 decade ago

    Not just the Japanese but the Germans as well if I remember correctly. The process is called gasification, wood is burned with limited oxygen to make a bio-oil. It's not literally burning wood in each vehicle, but using wood to make gas, it's all carbon after all. As mentioned above, this process has gained momentum recently. A number of people are working on a way to do this out in the woods, possibly making it economically feasible to utilize wood that otherwise would be left to burn. Check out the wikepedia article, it gives a good, and concise overview.

  • 4 years ago

    Peachy sounds right. More vigourous growth, (although its photosynthesis instead of metabolism). Maybe you should ask that "someone" who told you about hardwoods producing over 300 times more O2, where he got his data, or if he is just guessing without scientific measurement or proof. Keep in mind, hardwoods are without any leaves, not producing any oxygen at all for several months, like 8 months, Sept to April inclusive, which is 2/3 of the year, bare, dormant, unproductive. Evergreens are green all year long. Whenever the weather is mild, during mild/warm spells, they're ready and active producing oxygen. In between winter and spring, when weather turns warmer and hardwoods are still deciding to wake up, then slowly starting to bud, evergreens are already doing their job full-time, counteracting our smog, converting our carbondioxide emissions to oxygen.

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  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Woodworking Step-By-Step http://WoodworkingProjects.emuy.info/?1R9Z
  • 4 years ago

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    Truth is, I've been a carpenter for almost 36 years, and I haven't found anything like this for less than 10's of thousands of dollars.

  • mejxu
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Here you find an actual publication, that predicts 100 million gallons of bio diesel from pine up to 2010:http://www.accessnorthga.com/news/hall/newfullstor...

    And here another one:


  • 5 years ago

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