Modifying Castor for Use in Bio-Diesel Production: Knocking out the Toxin
Barnes, D. J., Ganji, S., Horton, D. S., Baldwin, B., & Braasch, D. A. (2007). Modifying Castor for Use in Bio-Diesel Production: Knocking out the Toxin. 2007 Biofuels Conference. Mississippi State University.
As global energy consumption continues to increase, there is a high demand for a more diversified base for fuel production. Biodiesel is an attractive alternative to fossil fuels for use in a number of applications. The challenge with Biodiesel, however, is developing a source that is suitable for applications in many geographical regions.
The castor seed (Ricinus communis) is a high-yielding oilseed crop with around 3-4 times the amount of oil produced per seed compared to soybean. The importance of Castor lies in the fact that it can yield superior amounts of oil compared to other oilseed and oil-yielding crops (Table 1). Castor carries with it a stigma that stems from a potent toxin known as ricin which can be lethal however, new technologies have emerged that make the development of ricin-free castor a viable crop for Biodiesel production.