The peanut or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) is a species in the family Fabaceae (commonly known as the bean, pea or legume family). The peanut is an annual herbaceous plant growing 30 to 50 cm (1.0 to 1.6 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, pinnate with flour leaflets (two opposite pairs; no teminal leaflet); each leaflet is 1 to 7 cm (% to 2% in) long and 1to 3 cm (% to 1 inch)across.
Peanuts have a high oil content (45% - 52%) compared to many other oil seed crops. With a yield of 3000 pounds per acre and a 70 grade (70% of the weight of the peanut in shell) and 50 percent oil content, peanuts could protentially produce 120 to 150 gallons of biodiesel per acre. The yield from peanuts is much higher than that of soybean at 46 gallons per acres and corn at 18 gallons but lower than that of rapeseed, which yields 122 gallons per acres and of sunflowers, which yields 98 gallons.
Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a mild tasting vegetable oil derived from peanuts. The oil is avaliable in refined, unrefined, cold pressed, and roasted varieties, the latter with a strong peanut flavor and aroma, analogous to sesame oil.
Peanut oil is offen used in Chinese, South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, both for general cooking, and in the case of roasted oil, for added flavor. Peanut oil has high smoke point relative to many other cooking oils, so is commonly used for frying foods. Its major component fatty acids are oleic acid(46.8% as olein), linoleic acid(33.4% as linolein), and palmitic acid (10.0% as palmitin). The oil also contains some stearic acid, arachidic acid, arachidonic acid, behenic acid, lignoceds acid and other fatty acids.