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


The COSMOS proposal aims to reduce Europe’s dependence on imported coconut and palm kernel oils and fatty acids and castor oil as sources for medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA, C10–C14) and medium-chain polymer building blocks. These are needed by the oleochemical industry for the production of plastics, surfactants, detergents, lubricants, plasticisers and other products. In COSMOS, camelina and crambe will be turned 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, optimization 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. Extracted oils will be fractionated into various fatty acid types (monounsaturated versus polyunsaturated) by selective enzyme technologies and extraction processes. The monounsaturated long-chain fatty acids so obtained will be converted to MCFA and high-value building blocks for bio-plastics and flavour and fragrance ingredients through chemical and enzymatic chain cleavage processes. The ω3-rich PUFA fraction will be purified for use in food and feed ingredients. Vegetative tissues such as straw, leaves and press cake will be fed to insects producing high-value proteins, chitin and fats. Insect fats and proteins will be isolated and prepared for use in food and feed products. The overall economic, social and environmental sustainability as well as life cycle of the whole value chain will be assessed. The impact of the project for Europe will be assessed in terms of value chain potentials for value creation and number of jobs that can be created.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Andrea Monti

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari

Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (Dlo Food And Biobased)(Netherlands)

Other Participants:
Universite De Rennes 1 (France)
Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Germany)
Valstybinis Moksliniu Tyrimu Institutas Fiziniu Ir Technologijos Mokslu Centras-Center For Physical Sciences And Technology (Lithuania)
Linnaeus Plant Sciences B.V. (Netherlands)
Imperial College Of Science Technology And Medicine (United Kingdom)
Enzymicals Ag (Germany)
Wu Wageningen Universiteit (Netherlands)
IFEU - Institut fuer Energie- und Umweltforschung Heidelberg Gmbh (Germany)
Solutex Gc, S.L. (Spain)
Arkema France Sa (France)
Centre For Renewable Energy Sources (Greece)
InCatT B.V. (Netherlands)
Apeiron Synthesis (Poland)
Kreca vof (Netherlands)
Nova-Institut Fur Politische Und Okologische Innovation Gmbh (Germany)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Uniwersytet Warminsko Mazurski W Olsztynie (Poland)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 10.811.197,50
Project Duration in months: 54
Start Date: 01/03/2015
End Date: 31/08/2019

Cordis webpage

Responsible consumption and production This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 635405 This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 635405