Oil from plants (1998)
Instead of drilling into the ground or the ocean for industrial oils, they will soon come from a renewable, environmentally friendly source – plants.
In a world that relies heavily on non renewable fossil fuel to power industry, scientists are searching for more environmentally sound alternatives.
And one solution could come from plants like these, giving a whole new meaning to Green Power.
Digging under the ground or the ocean for oil, provides us with fuel, and the materials needed to make glues, paints, lubricants and plastics.
But now, CSIRO scientists have identified two genes from wild plants, which when introduced into oil seed plants, like linseed, could see those plants producing oil for industry.
One gene produces an enzyme for creating epoxy fatty acids, a major components in the production of epoxy resins, adhesives and plastics.
The second gene produces an enzyme for creating acetylenic fatty acids which are important in manufacturing high performance, cold weather lubricants for engines and hydraulics.
“If we are able to source this finished product from crops, then obviously we will be cutting out the toxic products that are generated in the process of epoxidisation of the oil. So definitely it will be kinder and gentler for the environment.”
The genetically modified plants will mean the creation of new oil products which come from a renewable source, have no polluting waste and are environmentally friendly.