Location: Bio-oils Research
Project Number: 5010-41000-185-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: May 19, 2020
End Date: May 18, 2025
Objective 1: Develop an analysis of new crop germplasm and agronomic traits of oilseed crops such as camelina and industrial hemp. • Sub-objective 1.1. Identify and develop off-season crops. • Sub-objective 1.2. Identify and develop non-traditional oilseed crops. Objective 2: Enable processes for the commercial production of oils, meal, gums, waxes, and value-added products from advancing oilseed crops such as meadowfoam, new pennycress varieties, camelina, lesquerella, osage orange, and industrial hemp. • Sub-objective 2.1. Develop methods for the dry fractionation of mucilage and enriched protein meal from brassica seeds (camelina and lesquerella). • Sub-objective 2.2. Develop methods for the recovery of waxes and phospholipids from meadowfoam oil. • Sub-objective 2.3. Develop an integrated process to produce high-quality oil, enriched protein meal, and purified protein from industrial hemp seeds. • Sub-objective 2.4. Develop a sustainable isolation and purification protocol for isoflavones and the other fruit components of osage orange. Objective 3: Enable commercial processes by converting oils and gums from oilseed crops into marketable new value-added bio-based products. • Sub-objective 3.1. Develop new hydroxy oils and fatty acids. • Sub-objective 3.2. Develop new biobased estolide lubricants or additives. • Sub-objective 3.3. Develop niche products for industrial oils.
New off-season and oilseed 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 sacrificing food production. Several new crops (camelina, industrial hemp, meadowfoam, lesquerella, and osage orange) will be further developed for the U.S. by developing cost-effective industrial products and processes from these agricultural feedstocks. A collaborative effort in the development of camelina and industrial hemp will occur: 1) Both off-season and new crop germplasm development will be supported through developing analytical methods to rapidly analyze tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), oil, and seed quality; 2) Development of chemical and physical processes that enable the commercial production of oils, waxes, meal, gums, proteins, and isoflavones in these oilseed crops; 3) Development of novel industrial chemicals and processes through organic synthesis based on new crop raw materials derived above; and 4) Demonstrate economic viability through the production of pilot-scale quantities of new crop raw materials and products. Products to be developed include biodegradable lubricants, biobased lubricant additives, cosmetics, and common feedstocks - hydroxy acids. Overall, this research will lead to the development and expansion of off-season and new oilseed crops, which will help diversify the U.S. farm as well as expand the U.S. arsenal of industrial biofriendly chemicals and processes.