Conference paper Open Access
Walter Stefanoni; Alessandro Suardi; Nadia Palmieri; Simone Bergonzoli; Vincenzo Alfano; Sandu Lazar; Luigi Pari
ABSTRACT: The growing demand for renewable substitute for oil-derived products is a valid opportunity for farmers who cultivate oilseed species. Castor bean oil is gaining interest during the last decades not only for cosmetics purposes but also as source of biofuel or raw material for the production of lubricants and oleo-chemical products. In order to produce castor oil, the mechanical harvesting is a problem that has to be addressed. Conventional combine harvesters fail to process the considerable amount of biomass produced by castor plant, while geneticists are involved in the selection of dwarf hybrids, further investigation on the castor chain supply is fundamental for developing a reliable mechanical harvesting system. The goal of the study is to assess the possibility to extend the use of conventional machinery, currently applied for cereal crops, to the harvest of castor beans in new selected cultivars.