"Opportunities for Norwegian production of bio-diesel from agricultural crops" is a four year research project with the aim of obtaining new knowledge necessary for the development of bio-diesel production from agricul tural crops in Norway. This will be done by investigating 1) cropping potential, yield and oil-quality of rape (Brassica napus L. var. oleifera Metzg.) and turnip rape (Brassica rapa L. var. oleifera Sinsk.) varieties adapted for industrial use, 2) cropp ing methods of winter rape and winter turnip rape focusing on winter survival, 3) vernalization requirement and photosynthetic acclimatization to determine variation among varieties in winter survival and frost tolerance, 4) yields, cropping and oil-quali ty of oilseed plants other than Brassica under Norwegian growing conditions. The work will be summarised in an analysis of the potential for bio-oil production in Norway seen from an agronomical, economical and environmental point of view. Throughout the project period efforts will be made to implement the new knowledge in the farm community.
The project is led by the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research in cooperation with the Norwegian University of Life Science, the E nergy Farm and Hadeland Bio-oil A/S. In addition, scientists from Poland and Austria are involved.
The project is based on the fact that if Norway is going to switch to bio-fuels according to the EU bio-fuel directive, the Norwegian bio-fuel market will increase from today's 10 mill litres to approximately 220 mill litres in 2010. This poses a great challenge, but also a great opportunity for Norwegian agriculture and employment in rural areas.