Ontario studying plants as industrial oils

Jim Todd, ONspecialtycrops
August 08, 2016
Written by Jim Todd, ONspecialtycrops
Aug. 8, 2016 - The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and University of Guelph researchers are currently investigating the potential of growing two unique plants, Euphorbia lagascae from the Mediterranean and Centrapalus pauciflorus from Africa, as sources of vernolic acid, a naturally occurring epoxidized fatty acid that can directly substitute for the synthetic vernolic acid made from petroleum, soy or linseed oil.

Epoxidized fatty acids are useful as raw materials for a wide variety of industrial processes including the synthesis of chemicals and lubricants. Vernolic acid is most commonly used as a plasticizer in the manufacture of plastic polymers such as polyvinyl chloride or PVC.

The main goal of this three year study is to test the suitability of Euphorbia and Centrapalus for commercial cultivation under Ontario’s climatic conditions. Trials to identify suitable varieties and provide information on the agronomic requirements for successful cultivation are ongoing.

Read more at the AgroBiomass magazine website.

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