UNL professor receives $12.8 million grant to research oilseed benefits in biofuel

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Two oilseeds may be able to help meet the demand for renewable fuels, industrial chemicals and other bioproducts.  UNL researchers are leading the work to unlock the full potential of those seeds.

The team is working to genetically enhance camelina and pennycress seeds and develop the tools and technology to maximize crop yield across the country.

Nebraska biochemist Edgar Cahoon received the nearly $13-million grant to use over the course of 5 years from the U.S. Department of Energy to explore the two oilseeds containing the fatty acids necessary for creating biofuels and biomaterials.

This project could help replace petroleum-based products and fight against climate change, all while paving the way for future applications of oilseeds.

Cahoon says cars will be electrified sooner rather than later, but liquid fuels will still be needed for jets, tractor-trailers and heavy equipment, so this research could lead us to renewable liquid fuels, as well as chemical applications, like producing bioplastics.

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