Engineering Status, Challenges and Advantages of Oil Crops

  • Richard F. WilsonEmail author
  • David F. Hildebrand
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 66)


The outlook for adequate global supply of renewable oils during the next decade is encouraging. Current rates of oil supply should be maintained. Demand is expected to be strong, and equilibrium will be reached between the relative levels of oil demand for food and industrial applications. Indeed, a robust biofuel market may be necessary to balance gains in productivity. However, total renewable oil supply will become more dependent on crops that have sufficient production systems to sustain continued growth. Impact on the environment will be a major factor in determining the sustainability of biodiesel. The main problems with oxidative stability, poor cold-flow properties and NOx emissions can be mitigated through genetic enhancement of oleic acid concentration and other changes to the fatty acid composition of biofuel feedstocks. All major edible oil crops now have a high-oleic option; many are entering commercial production. Looking forward, research must continue to develop new sources of edible and industrial oils as a necessary step in meeting the consumer-driven demands of twenty-first century markets. Many new plant and algal oil sources are being investigated for biodiesel and specific industrial applications. Genetic engineering of commercial oilseeds for biosynthesis and selective accumulation of specific fatty acids with unique chemical properties is progressing.


Cocoa Butter Erucic Acid Phosphatidyl Choline Hydroxy Fatty Acid Cetane Number 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank the United Soybean Board for providing partial support for the preparation of this manuscript under Projects 9276 & 9306.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oilseeds & Biosciences LLCRaleighUSA
  2. 2.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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