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H2020 – COSMOS – Camelina & crambe Oil crops as Sources for Medium-chain Oils for Specialty oleochemicals

This 4.5-year project aims at reducing the dependence of Europe’s oleochemical industry on imported plant oils by turning camelina and crambe into profitable, sustainable, multipurpose, non-GMO European oil crops.

The European oleochemical industry currently relies on imported coconut and palm kernel oils and fatty acids and on castor oil as sources for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA, C10–C14) and medium-chain polymer building blocks. These are needed for the production of plastics, surfactants, detergents, lubricants, plasticisers and other products.

COSMOS aims at reducing this dependence by turning the currently underutilised domestic oil crops camelina and crambe into profitable, sustainable, multipurpose, non-GMO European oil crops for the production of oleochemicals. Seed properties will be screened and optimised through genetic techniques aiming at high yield, low resource inputs, optimisation of the value generated from vegetative tissues and fatty acid profiles adapted to industrial needs. Large-scale field trials will be performed at different locations in Europe to assess the potential of the crops in terms of cultivation practices, seed yield, oil content, ease of harvesting, and resource inputs.