While researching briquette presses for fuel production, I stumbled on an article about using similar presses for extracting oils from seeds and nuts. In this case, the focus was on bio-diesel production, but I felt it was helpful for other uses as well. We preppers often hear of the importance of fats and oils in the diet, along with the difficulties in storing these items, so having the means to produce your own is a benefit.
For the Do-It-Yourselfers in the audience, you can check out a Journey To Forever article which details how to build the equipment needed to process sunflower seeds for sunflower oil, including grading screens, de-hulling, winnowing and then pressing itself. Sunflowers appear to be very robust and can be grown from Canada to the tropics. You can find a great deal about sunflowers at this Purdue University web page.
If you’d prefer a commercial solution for the equipment to do this, there are plenty out there. Most are made for larger-scale production, however. A web search for “oil expeller” will provide lots of hits if that’s the way you want to go.
For the individual prepper interested in an off-the-shelf oil extraction solution, a source to consider is the hand-cranked expeller. I don’t know anything about these small units other than what I’ve seen on their Web site and in reviews on the Web, but they appear to be well-made and users seem to love them. The Web site shows a wide variety of seeds the unit can handle, including sunflower, walnut, pumpkin and more. They also have instructions on how to attach the unit to a bicycle frame.
In addition to the food value of oils, such oils can be used to produce bio-diesel for use in engines and can be used as fuel in lamps (as a recent article on SurvivalBlog indicated). The “waste” products of oil production can be used in cooking or as an additive to animal feed. Blessings, – Jason R.