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Agricultural Institute of Slovenia is strengthening public knowledge about renewable energy sources

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Monday, October 19, 2009 - 14:20
Ljubljana , ELAN

From the 29 August until 5 September 2009, the 47th International Fair of Agriculture and Food, AGRA, took place in the Slovenian town of Gornja Radgona. Over 1.680 exhibitors from 29 countries drew a huge crowd. Among the exhibitors was the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (AIS) with its Agricultural Engineering Department, which participates in the technical work-package of CIVITAS ELAN and works on alternative fuels and clean energy efficient vehicles.

The AGRA trade fair was visited by approximately 150.000 people in eight days. Many stopped by the AIS exhibition site.One of AIS's tasks is to test the use of pure plant oil for vehicle propulsion in laboratory and in practical conditions. The latter was shown at the trade fair, where AIS demonstrated the production of rape seed oil and presented two vehicles running on vegetable oil propulsion, a tractor and an off road vehicle. Visitors were especially interested in how “regular” vehicles can be converted to operate on oil or biodiesel fuel, and they often asked about which plant is suitable for the production of oil. AIS want to know everything about oil production - from field cultivation to final oil usage in diesel motors. “Some of them approached our exhibition site out of general interest, but most of them had specific future plans to dedicate a large amount of their own land to rape seed oil production,” said Tomaž Poje, chief of AIS laboratory for testing agricultural machines. He noticed there is still a great difference in general knowledge and awareness with regard to renewable energy sources in Slovenia compared to other European countries. However, AIS and other CIVITAS ELAN partners are working to change this.

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