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Green and yellow straw from oilseed, another viable source of biofuel?

ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION

OILSEED

Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as oilseed, is cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seeds [1]. However, seeds are not the only part of this plant that has raised the interest of scientists and researchers. A group of researchers at the Institute of Food Research are currently looking at how to turn straw from oilseed rape into viable bio-fuel.

Only in the UK, a total of 12 million tonnes of straw are produced every year [2], this can give you an idea of the potential that this plant has. The process of producing bio-ethanol is simple, the different types of sugars found on the straw after being pre-treated and made accessible to enzymes are converted by these ones into bio-ethanol.

The biofuels widely available today are predominantly sugar- and starch-based bio-ethanol, and oilseed- and waste oil-based biodiesel [3]. Image: See credits below under reference 


BRASSICA NAPUS 

Family: Brassicaceae

Genus: Brassica

Common name: rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed [1].