Journal article Open Access

PENNYCRESS (Thlaspi arvense) A NEW NON-FOOD CROP FOR OIL-BASED BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN EUROPE AND USA

Zanetti, F.; Isbell, T. A.; Alexopoulou, E.; Evangelista, R.; Gesch, R.W.; Moser, B.; Monti, A.

The development of alternative feedstocks for producing oil-based biofuels needs to meet the majority of the following criteria: low cost, high oil content, low agricultural inputs, favorable fatty acid (FA) composition, compatibilitywith existing farm equipment and infrastructure, production in off-season from conventional commodity crops, adaptability to marginal/idle lands, and viable markets for co-products such as seed meal. Recently a “potential weed”, pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) has become one of the most attractive new non-food oil crops. Pennycress is highly tolerant to low temperatures, tolerating temperatures below -15°C after reaching a 4-to-6-leaves rosette stage. The seed contains up to 37% oil (DM) with the major fatty acid as erucic (36%). The fatty acid composition in pennycress has been shown to have physical properties suitable for biofuels like biodiesel and hydro-treated renewable jet fuel (HRJ). In the last decade, pennycress has attracted increasing interest as a potential oilseed for biofuel production in the USA, either biodiesel and/or jet fuel, in Europe very few studies have specifically focused on pennycress. In the present study, we compared the productivity of pennycress in response to environment in two European countries, Italy (Bologna) and Greece (Aliartos), and in two USA states, Illinois (Peoria) and Minnesota (Morris). Seed yield, seed oil content and oil compositions were evaluated in response to growing environment. Representative seed samples from each study location was solvent extracted for total oil recovery and compared across locations.

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