WFU Biofuels

Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and associates making and testing vegetable-oil based fuels.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What does a raw soy bean taste like anyway?

I was talking to my farmer friend this morning about growing soy beans and what happens to them. I found out where they have them ground and then sold to a broker. He promptly walks over to big hopper and with one hand (equaling all muscle tissue in my entire body) and scoops out a bucket full of soy beans. He then picks a bean out and pops it in his mouth and commenced to chewing!! Not to be out done, I too picked up a bean and starting chewing and chewing and chewing. Tasted like...... uhhh, uhhh...chicken. No not really. It tasted like a raw peanut. I have about 15 to 20 lbs of soy beans (dried from last year) in my office if anyone wants to play with them.

I thought a pretty cool lab exercise would be extracting the oil from a known weight of beans. Could then try other beans to see the difference. I suppose if you are buying beans for the oil you could evaluate the beans based on oil yields rather than just bulk mass. Probably the next week's lab would then be making biod from the extracted oil, right?

Salem Hall room 9b if you want some beans otherwise, I'll give the left overs to B. and A. King (chem profs), they have chickens and goats. A goat will eat anything right?


At 12:52 PM, Blogger Asa Gray said...

That sounds like a great set of labs. You could even do a few of the oil crops and look at the fat compositions, etc. If you really wanted to go all out you could look at the value of the oil and the meal (the left-over part) and see which crop maximizes total profit. I bet Kauffman would be all over that for a course! And, they'll give you several grand just for teaching it.


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