Australia: A new plant based oil is being developed to replace petrochemicals in industrial products ranging from fuels and lubricants to special chemicals and plastics.

New plant-based oil emerging for use in transformers

Australia: A new plant based oil is being developed to replace petrochemicals in industrial products ranging from fuels and lubricants to special chemicals and plastics.

In a joint project between the CSIRO and the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) to establish the Crop Biofactories Initiatives (CBI), safflower seed oil that contains over 92 % oleic acid has been produced.

The stability of the oleic acid makes it suitable for high temperature industrial applications such as lubricants and transformer fluids.

The technologies and safflower materials developed during CBI for the production of SHOSO have been licensed to GO Resources, which is a new Australian technology company with expertise in biotechnology, industrial lubricants and oleochemicals, deregulation of GM technologies, and the development of supply chains for GM products.

According to the company’s CEO, Michael Kleinig, the necessary R&D has been completed by CSIRO and the main steps now towards commercialisation include deregulation of SHO safflower, production of planting seed, and development of an agronomy package.

“First market development plantings will occur in 2018 and first commercial sales are scheduled for 2019” he said.

“The technology required to produce SHOSO from safflower is a standard cold press or solvent extraction process used currently to extract seed oil from sunflower, canola, soybean, and cotton.”

Michael says GO Resources has the exclusive worldwide licence to the IP generated from the CBI, and believes there will be major markets for SHOSO, particularly in Asia and the USA, with the potential to export up to 125,000 metric tonnes per annum valued at around AU$ 340 million (USD 254 million).

Source: Manufacturers’ Monthly