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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

Project Number: 5010-41000-171-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 19, 2015
End Date: May 18, 2020

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.

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.