Camelina & crambe oil crops as sources for medium-chain oils for specialty oleochemicals

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. The COSMOS project, which runs from March 2015 to August 2019, aims at reducing this dependence by turning the currently underutilised domestic oil crops camelina and crambe into profitable, sustainable, multipurpose, non-transgenic European oil crops for the production of oleochemicals.

Seed properties of camelina and crambe have been 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 have been 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 have been fractionated into various fatty acid types for further uses and the press cakes have been 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.

Towards the end of the project, the aim of this event is to present the research results of the project to a wider scientific audience.
Presentations on the following topics are planned with regard to camelina and crambe:

1. Oilseed breeding and genetics;
2. Sustainable cultivation strategies;
3. Oil extraction and separation;
4. Vegetative tissue and seed meal valorisation by insects;
5. Integrated assessment of sustainability.


9:30  An introduction to the COSMOS project
Rolf Blaauw, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, The Netherlands

9:40  How COSMOS has improved camelina and crambe properties using modern breeding methods
Rolf Blaauw, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, The Netherlands

10:00 The potential for successful cultivation of crambe and camelina in Europe
Myrsini Christou, CRES, Greece

10:20 Enhancing oil value by physical and enzyme-mediated technologies
Cristian Garcia, Solutex, Spain

10:40 Break

11:00 Insects converting seed residues to valuable oils and proteins
Rolf Blaauw, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, The Netherlands

11:20 Medium-chain length oleochemicals from camelina and crambe oils
Rolf Blaauw, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, The Netherlands

11:40 How sustainable are Crambe and Camelina pathways?
Guido Reinhardt, IFEU, Germany

12:00 Concluding discussion

Tuesday 28 May

9:30 – 12:30 | Room: 3B

Organised by

Contact person:

Stephan Piotrowski
Economics & Resources
nova-Institut GmbH


To attend this event please make a regular conference registration for at least the day of the event.
Please note that this Programme may be subject to alteration and the organisers reserve the right to do so without giving prior notice.