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Production of Ricinoleic Acid

Production of Ricinoleic Acid in Plants as a renewable raw material for the polymer and lubricant industry

Contact: Andy Greenland

The main aim of this project is to identify, and test the importance of, components of the biosynthetic pathway for making ricinoleic acid in seed storage lipids. That knowledge will be used to develop high ricinoleic acid varieties of both Brassica carinata and Brassica juncea. The oil has industrial application in the polymer and lubricant industries. B. carinata will have agronomic trials conducted to optimise its oil yield in the UK. A core scientific objective is to isolate and analyse a sub-organeller compartment which is involved in making storage oils in seeds. Knowledge in this area is important in a long term objective of increasing the content of industrially important fatty acids in new seed varieties. This has applications in the area of sustainable agriculture, reduced carbon emissions and energy conservation.


Collaborating Organisations: University of Durham (Principal investigator: Tony Slabas), Velcourt Research, Fuchs Lubricants and Arkema, Linnaeus Inc.