After getting my email from the major airlines whining about fuel prices again (my oversees trips better come sooner than later, wouldn't you say?) and an email ad from Wayside (yuck), I found some intriguing stuff. A bit of research led me here http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/vernonia.html whereupon I found this neat little bit of prose for your general perusal and edification. Cheers.
"Vernonia seed contains about 40 to 42% oil of which 73 to 80% is vernolic acid. This is about 30% more vernolic acid than the best varieties of V. anthelmintica. Products that can be made from vernonia include epoxies for manufacturing adhesives, varnishes and paints, and industrial coatings. The low viscosity of vernonia oil would allow it to be used as a nonvolatile solvent in oil-based paints since it will become incorporated in the dry paint rather than evaporating into the air. Consequently, it is possible that emissions associated with photochemical pollution can be reduced by up to 160 million pounds per year if this crop is fully exploited.
Vernonia could also serve as a natural source of plasticizers and stabilizers (binders) for producing polyvinyl chloride (PVC plastic), which currently is manufactured from petroleum. The potential use of vernonia as a petroleum substitute is important since the demand for petroleum each year in the USA is approximately 8,500 pounds per person, of which about 500 pounds per person is needed for production of plastics and industrial petrochemicals. Some vernonia species have been reported to have medicinal properties."
SEE?????? IT CAN BE DONE!! We don't need oil! Plus, I am so damn damn damn tired of turning on the local and national news and almost every story is directly or indirectly related to energy, oil, blah blah blah. Does anyone DO anything? I mean, s**t. I can sit around till I'm blue in the face, the cows come home, pigs fly, and ironweed supplants oil, but is someone gonna kick someone's a** and get things in gear? I hate growing up and being disenchanted with my kind. Do we need a third world war? Because, honestly, horribly, it sometimes feels like we need something BIG, but why does it always seem to have to be bad big?
I'm going to vacuum the house now with my ironweed-powered dyson (I spent all night getting it to work with this fuel source).