Centre For Novel Agricultural Products

High-value applications for rapeseed oil

A team of researchers, including biologists from the University of York, are a step closer to producing a biodegradable lubricant made from a new type of oilseed rape. The new crop could have huge implications for the global lubricant market – it is estimated that half of all lubricants sold world-wide end up in the environment. Currently there are few alternatives available to the mineral-based products that can be harmful pollutants. The new oilseed rape (OSR) will not only provide a high-quality renewable alternative, but will have low toxicity and be biodegradable. OSR is the third-largest crop by area in the UK and is used as a break crop in…
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Plants prepare for battle against toxic soil

Field trials are underway for a type of grass that could provide a clean, green solution to a growing environmental problem When bombs explode they leave behind tiny toxic particles that contaminate soil and can leach into water supplies. It’s a particular problem on military training sites where large areas of land are now becoming heavily contaminated with residues of the explosives TNT and RDX. Scientists at York have deployed a biological secret weapon to tackle the problem - a specially modified grass which uses naturally occurring bacterial processes to break down the toxic compounds. And in a major milestone for the pioneering research – which first took root at…
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Optimising plant oils for skin care applications

Plant oils offer a rich diversity of high value fatty acids as sustainable feedstocks for the speciality chemical industry. Maximising the potential of plant oils as renewable feedstocks will require engaging cutting edge research and development with end user needs. Case study MetAnOil was a Technology Strategy Board (previously DTI) funded project that did just that by pairing up The Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP), University of York with Boots Company PLC. Using patented CNAP technology, the molecular composition of a range of plant oils, including a complete analysis of all the triacylglycerol molecular species, was determined to a level of complexity not previously achieved. This enabled oil composition…
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