With the positive economic and environmental traits, pongamia can

With the positive economic and environmental traits, pongamia can be viewed as a promising feedstock for future biodiesel production, especially in dry and hot regions. Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) constitutes another efficient option and it has been proven by the USDA [28] to be present in 49 US states as a weed plant. The oil content of pennycress (36% with the major fatty acid – erucic acid) is approximately twice as high as that of soybean and it also outperforms corn in terms of its net energy output. Thus, it provides a more sustainable solution from the environmental footprint

perspective. A minimum amount of 907 kg (40 bushels) of pennycress can be harvested per acre, which would allow for producing about 115 gallons (435 L) of biodiesel [29] and [30]. If grown on marginal land, pennycress does not compete with food/feed production and can be used in winter as a ground cover crop protecting soil GSI-IX molecular weight from erosion. It can also be harvested in spring to prepare the soil for growing other crops in summer, e.g., soybeans, and it can be intercropped with corn and wheat. Pennycress can be easily harvested with the CT99021 datasheet conventional equipment used for other crops [31]. Water, nutrient and herbicide requirements of pennycress, as well as

insect and disease pressures, and environmental stresses need to be evaluated before using the crop for commercial biodiesel production. With its excellent biodiesel properties and a very short growing season, pennycress is said to have a tremendous opportunity to be commercialized as a biofuel feedstock in the future [28] and [32]. More studies on economic feasibility of the feedstock would be required to closer investigate the efficiency potential of the feedstock in the long-term perspective. Another prospective plant for biodiesel production is crambe – a Mediterranean plant that has been introduced to the US in the 1940’s. Crambe is drought-tolerant and can be compared with soybeans in terms of its economic efficiency. It also has up to 9% more erucic acid than rapeseed, which is a beneficial characteristic when the oil is used for biofuels production, although it has been

associated with cardiac disease Glutathione peroxidase in humans. As recently investigated by the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC), crambe seed oil can be converted into biofuels identical with petroleum fuels. In addition to its potential as a biofuel feedstock, crambe oil can be used for producing synthetic rubber, erucic acid-based materials, e.g., plastic film and nylon (currently produced from the imported rapeseed), as well as a lubricant for corrosion control [33]. Although the main focus of the paper is to present prospective and little-explored feedstocks and technologies for ethanol and biodiesel production, algae feedstock (for production of third generation biofuels) is worth mentioning in this context. Algae constitute a unique feedstock.

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