Biofuels, Growing Carinata & Sustainability
What is Carinata?
Brassica carinata, or Carinata, is an oilseed crop. It is a high biomass, deep rooted crop that produces a seed which can be processed into energy dense oil and high protein animal feed. It looks similar to other mustard crops, with leafy green plants and yellow flowers, but is more resilient in extreme conditions.
Why is Carinata grown?
Carinata is grown for a variety of reasons: as a way to provide energy security, to decarbonize the transportation sector, and to provide high quality plant protein. The world is shifting towards biofuels, specifically in the aviation industry, and Carinata is a uniquely suited feedstock for this purpose. Farmers also grow Carinata to rejuvenate soil, as it's deep root structures help increase soil organic matter. This increased soil matter provides a nutrient boost to crops that follow.
Where is Carinata grown?
Anywhere! Carinata is a remarkably tough plant. It can withstand environmental stresses that make it unique, such as frost, drought, heat, cold and disease. That means it can be successfully grown on marginal lands, giving farmers a crop option they otherwise wouldn’t have.
What makes Carinata oil unique?
Carinata seed contains what’s known as a “long chain” oil, meaning it has more carbon to work with when making fuels, and this can increase efficiency when manufacturing fuel. These long carbon chains are especially beneficial to airlines and jets as they prevent engine clogging, increase thrust capacity and provide more energy over the same volume.
By growing Carinata for fuel, does that mean a food crop is displaced?
No. Carinata's frost resistance allow for winter crop production on otherwise unused land. This double cropping system allows farmers to grow a main food crop in the summer, and produce Carinata in the winter. In areas where there is only one planting season, good agricultural practice includes rotating crops so that farmers don’t grow the same crop on the same field year after year. This helps build the soil and break up natural insect and disease cycles.
Why is protein important?
The world needs more protein. Protein is an essential part of human and animal nutrition, as it provides essential energy and building blocks to sustain life. Carinata meal contains an exceptionally high level of protein, especially compared to other grains. This protein can feed more animals, which in turn provide protein in the form of meat. Carinata is sustainably produced and doesn't divert from human food, which effectively doubles the protein output on fields where it's being grown.
Who buys Carinata?
The market for Carinata is developing globally. Typical purchasers of Carinata and products are crush plants, meal marketers and biofuel producers. Agrisoma has been working to ensure global supply chain opportunities to meet growing demand for customers of oil and meal.