Submitted to: 2016 U.S. Billion-Ton Study
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2016
Publication Date: 7/12/2016
Citation: Archer, D.W. 2016. Oilseeds for use in biodiesel and drop-in renewable jet fuel. U.S. Department of Energy. 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy, Volume 1: Economic Availability of Feedstocks. M. H. Langholtz, B. J. Stokes, and L. M. Eaton (Leads), ORNL/TM-2016/160. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN. p.142.
Technical Abstract: Oilseeds, primarily soybean and canola, are currently used as feedstocks for biodiesel production. Oilseeds can also be used to produce drop-in renewable jet fuel and diesel products. While soybean and canola are the most common oilseed crops used for renewable fuel production in the U.S., many other oilseeds could be used as feedstocks. These include crops such as industrial rapeseed, camelina, pennycress, sunflower, safflower, and mustards such as carinata and condiment mustard. Like soybean and canola, the meal remaining after oil extraction for most of these crops is valuable as a high protein livestock feed source. The meal value will be important in determining the economic feasibility of producing these crops. The value of the meal as a livestock feed is directly related to the protein content for each specific crop, but also any nutritional or anti-nutritional components. To reduce land competition and displacement of existing food, feed, and fiber production, envisioned production strategies are focused on selection of crops and cropping methods that increase overall production. This includes growing oilseeds in place of cultivated fallow, using oilseeds as harvestable cover crops or double crops, and including oilseeds as break crops in low-diversity cropping areas to reduce disease, weed, and pest levels and increase yields of the dominant crop. Growing oilseeds in place of cultivated fallow or as cover crop or double crops could provide environmental benefits by introducing plants to the landscape during normally fallow periods. A significant economic challenge is finding ways to produce oilseeds that are profitable for growers to produce, yet at a price low enough that they are economically viable as biofuel feedstocks. Another challenge is that many of these crops are relatively new to the areas where they are proposed to be grown, so there are needs to develop management techniques and crop traits that are most suited to these areas. There are also needs for training or education for potential producers to learn how best to grow these crops.