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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Research Project #427293

Research Project: Replacement of Petroleum Products Utilizing Off-Season Rotational Crops

Location: Bio-oils Research

2018 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Enable, from a technological standpoint, the commercial production of off-season oilseed rotational crops. Sub-objective 1.1. Identify and develop winter annuals. Sub-objective 1.2. Identify and develop spring/fall annuals. Sub-objective 1.3. Evaluate and survey new off-season germplasm. Objective 2: Enable processes for the commercial production of oils, meal, gums, and protein from off-season oilseed crops such as pennycress, camelina, and coriander. Sub-objective 2.1. Develop methods for processing and refining of modified oils and waxes from camelina, crambe, and other oilseed crops. Sub-objective 2.2. Develop isolation method, production, and testing application of gums from mucilage-containing Brassica seeds (lesquerella and camelina). Sub-objective 2.3. Develop value-added products from seed meals of off-season oilseed crops for industrial applications. Objective 3: Enable commercial processes for converting the oils from off-season rotational oilseed crops into marketable value-added biobased products. Sub-objective 3.1. Develop biobased estolide lubricants/additives. Sub-objective 3.2. Develop platform chemicals from off-season rotation crops. Sub-objective 3.3. Develop polyketo, polyamines, and corresponding salts as chelating or sequestering agents and plasticizers.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
New off-season crop development is critical to the future sustainability of the United States (U.S.) agriculture by reducing the farmer’s dependence on government subsidies for a select few commodity crops such as corn and soybeans, and by supplementing our need for energy without decreasing food production (food vs. fuel). A number of off-season new crops (pennycress and coriander) will be further developed for the U.S. by developing cost effective industrial products and processes from these agricultural feedstocks. A collaborative effort to the development of pennycress, camelina, and coriander will occur: 1) Off-season germplasm development will be supported through developing analytical methods to rapidly analyze glucosinolates, oil, and seed quality. Additionally, off-season crop germplasm resources will be surveyed and publicly accessible databases generated; 2) Development of chemical and physical processes that enable the commercial production of oils, meal, gums, and proteins in off-season oilseed crops. In order to produce and demonstrate economic data, the new crop raw materials will be produced in pilot scale quantities. 3) Development of novel industrial chemicals and processes through organic synthesis based on off-season crop raw materials derived above. Products to be developed include biodegradable lubricants, biobased viscosity modifiers, lubricant additives, cosmetics, and chelating or sequestering agents. Overall, this research will lead to the development and expansion of off-season oilseed crops which will help diversify the U.S. farm as well as expand the U.S. arsenal of industrial biofriendly chemicals and processes.

3. Progress Report:
New off-season crop development is critical to the future sustainability of U.S. agriculture by reducing farmer’s dependence on government and by supplementing our need for biobased products without decreasing food production. Past efforts by ARS scientists in Peoria, Illinois, have led to the development of pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) as an off-season rotation crop. Pennycress continued to be commercially grown (by a St. Louis, Missouri based company) during the 2017-2018 season. Pennycress oil has properties suitable for the development of biofuels – i.e. as an aviation jet fuel drop-in replacement. Commercialization and collaborative research efforts continue as ARS scientists provided consultative oversight for production and processing the seeds for oil/meal/protein and have also developed other potential industrial products from the oil. Other off-season crops are also being evaluated as possible commercial oilseed crops. For example, Camelina (C. sativa), which the United States Navy chose as their feedstock for an aviation biofuel, was studied in Peoria, Illinois, as a late season rotation crop with winter wheat. Camelina rotation studies and evaluations are positive and ongoing. Additionally, ARS scientists have also achieved successful functionalization of camelina oil to a corresponding polyketone derivative which has shown unusual chelating character for silver (Ag+) and mercury (Hg2+) ions. ARS scientists yielded a newly-developed integrated process for coriander that produces essential oil, edible oil, and protein isolates, thus adding value to the coriander crop. The results demonstrated that a protein concentrate could be a co-product from a dual oil process for dehulled coriander seeds, with nutritional and functional properties that are suitable for both food and non-food. The ARS scientists, in Peoria, Illinois, responsible for these results were awarded the 2018 Best Paper Protein and Co-products division Engineering and Technology category by the Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society. Finally, one of the most successful products developed by ARS scientists, in Peoria, Illinois, have been the estolides which are a vegetable-based-type lubricant. Commercialization efforts continue as ARS scientists provided consultative oversight for scale-up production and the development of new products and applications.

4. Accomplishments
1. Repelling biting flies. Biting or blood-sucking insects (flies, mosquitos, ticks, and bed bugs) can transmit various diseases that cause major health concerns and economic losses for both animals and humans worldwide. Currently, there are no effective pesticides available for use against either biting stable flies or biting face flies. ARS scientists in Peoria, Illinois, and Lincoln, Nebraska, identified and developed a new bio-based insect formulation repellent designed to meet the challenges posed by these insect vectors. These researchers discovered that naturally derived fatty acids from coconut oil function as a very effective biobased repellent having broad repellency and long effectiveness against multiple blood-sucking insect vectors. The all-natural aqueous formulation, developed in Peoria, Illinois, provided promising results in field trials conducted on cattle in North Platte, Nebraska. The current biting fly issue in the United States costs the cattle industry over $2.4 billion annually. This new finding will aid cattle farmers and rangers with additional products to address their biting insect issues.

Review Publications
Harry-O'kuru, R.E., Biresaw, G., Gordon, S.H., Xu, J. 2018. Physical characteristics of tetrahydroxy and acylated derivatives of Jojoba liquid wax in lubricant applications. Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry.
Chakraborty, S., Todd, J., Isbell, T., Van Acker, R.C. 2018. Agronomic performance of the novel oilseed crop Euphorbia lagascae Spreng., (Euphorbiaceae) in southwestern Ontario. Industrial Crops and Products. 111:865-870.
Todd, J., Chakraborty, S., Isbell, T., Van Acker, R.C. 2018. Agronomic performance of the novel oilseed crop Centrapalus pauciflorus in southwestern Ontario. Industrial Crops and Products. 111:364-370.
Cermak, S.C., Isbell, T., Bredsguard, J.W., Thompson, T.D. 2017. Estolides - Synthesis and applications. In: Ahmad, M.U., editor. Fatty Acids: Chemistry and Applications. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Inc. p. 431-475.
Gordon, S.H., Harry-O'kuru, R.E., Mohamed, A.A. 2017. Elimination of interference from water in KBr disk FT-IR spectra of solid biomaterials by chemometrics solved with kinetic modeling. Talanta. 174:587-598.
Hwang, H.-S., Gillman, J.D., Winkler-Moser, J.K., Kim, S., Singh, M., Byars, J.A., Evangelista, R.L. 2018. Properties of oleogels formed with high-stearic soybean oils and sunflower wax. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 95(5):557-569.
Tisserat, B., Hwang, H.-S., Vaughn, S.F., Berhow, M.A., Peterson, S.C., Joshee, N., Vaidya, B.N., Harry-O'kuru, R. 2018. Fiberboard created using the natural adhesive properties of distillers dried grains with solubles. BioResources. 13(2):2678-2701.
Tisserat, B., Eller, F., Harry-O'kuru, R. 2018. Various extraction methods influence the adhesive properties of dried distiller's grains and solubles, and press cakes of pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) and lesquerella (Lesquerella fendleri A. Gary (S. Watson) in the fabrication of lignocellulosic composites. Fibers.
Hojilla-Evangelista, M.P., Sutivisedsak, N., Evangelista, R.L., Cheng, H.N., Biswas, A. 2018. Composition and functional properties of saline-soluble protein concentrates prepared from four common dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 95:1001-1012. doi: 10.1002/aocs.12135.