CABBI scientists make progress on oilcane

November 2, 2020 |

In Florida, from southeastern Florida to northern Mississippi to the Midwestern Corn Belt, CABBI scientists have struck sustainable oil with sugarcane. But the crop’s potential value to the renewable energy sector earns this particular variety a more appropriate designation: oilcane.

A groundbreaking endeavor uniting CABBI’s Feedstock Production and Conversion themes is coming to fruition with the fall 2020 harvest. By analyzing a sugarcane variety specifically designed to divert natural sugars for oil production, researchers can provide sustainable, plant-based fossil fuel alternatives.

The initial seeds of this project were sown as a result of CABBI Feedstock Production Investigators’ work on the PETROSS (Plants Engineered to Replace Oil in Sugarcane and Sweet Sorghum) DOE ARPA-E project. Their teams at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and University of Florida, respectively, manipulated lines of sugarcane to accumulate elevated lipid content compared to their wild-type counterpart.

In addition to actively engaging parts of CABBI’s Feedstock Production and Conversion themes at present, the project provides opportunities in the near future to develop valuable bioproducts by deploying newly engineered yeasts and engage the Sustainability theme on how high-oil content crops impact nutrient cycling in the fields.

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Category: Research

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