Plant oil of the day: camelina

February 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Whilst much of the biofuels industry focus has been on feedstocks to produce substitutes for petrol or diesel, a Canadian research company is working on plant-based oils for vehicle lubrication – fluids for engines, transmissions, power steering, brakes and suchlike. Vancouver-based Linnaeus Plant Sciences is developing GM plants which could also yield oils to replace the petrol-derived polymers used in plastics and nylons, reports The Globe & Mail.

Linnaeus is currently working on camelina, a plant from the mustard family, by introducing genes from the oil-rich but highly poisonous castor plant. Camelina can be grown on marginal agricultural land, and is said to need little fertiliser and to resist droughts.

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