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“Non-food Crops-to-Industry schemes in EU27”
WP1. Non-food crops
D1.1 Oil crops that can be produced in EU27
Lead beneficiary: CRES-Center for Renewable Energy Sources
Authors: Efthymia Alexopoulou, Myrsini Christou
Authors: Xavier Pages, Carine Alfos
Co-beneficiaries: UNIBO – University of Bologna
Authors: Andrea Monti, Lorenzo Nissen
The project is a Coordinated Action supported by
Grant agreement no. 227299
Table of contents
Approximately 30 million of metric tones of oil crops, mainly rapeseed, soybean and olive, are produced in the EU27 area. In recent years, the production is increased 3% year by year and this trend is likely to further increase in the next future, mianly for industrial purposes.
Alternative oil plants such as honesty (Lunaria spp.), cuphea (Cuphea spp.) and wild spurge (Euphorbia lagascae) have recently attracted increasing importance in North America and China. New interesting genotypes of the above crops have been developed to compete with conventional oil crops that could be profitably grown also in Europe.
The general target of WP1 is to explore the potential of non-food crops, which can be domestically grown in EU 27 countries, for selected industrial applications, namely oils, fibers, resins, pharmaceuticals and other specialty products.
The aim of this task is to gather information and reviewing novel oil species for industrial uses (lubricants, solvents and polymers) adapted to European lands. Literature on these plants will be critically revised in order to estimate their potential market in the light of the booming of bio-based market.
The reason for this task is that Europe is composed of different environments, which vary with factors like mean temperatures, rainfall and soil quality. No single plant species is optimal for all environments, so identifying promising plant species an EU-27 context, enhancing thus biodiversity will be necessary.
The steps undertaken so far are the following: i) preliminary review on crops originally included in the DoW; ii) revision of the original crop list to replace less suited crops to European climate conditions whit more adapted and promising species; iii) editing literature reviews on these crops that are being updated during the next period.
During the project meetings some crops can reveal to be worthy of major interest thus higher efforts will be dedicated to that crops.
Task 1.1 Oil crops (CRES, ITERG, UNIBO)
The main oil crops that have industrial uses are: rapeseed (Brassica napus), sunflower (Helianthus annus), Crambe (Crambe abyssinica), Linseed/flax (Linun usitatissium), cotton seed (Gossypium), Calendula/pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). The production of the last one is for personal care products, cosmetics and paints.
Research is being carried out in several oil crops at European level, such as for Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata), caper spurge (Euphorbia lagascae), Castor (Riscimus communis), Honesty (Lunaria biennis), cuphea (Cuphea spp.), safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), Jatropha (Jatropha curcas). The most important markets for the oil crops are: biodiesel production, lubricants, solvents, polymers, etc.
In this project the following crops are dealt:
CRES studied: rapeseed (Brassica napus), ethiopean mustard (Brassica carinata), sunflower (Helianthus annus) and cardoon (Cynara cardunculus).
ITERG studied the crops: Crambe (Crambe abyssinica), Linseed/flax (Linum usitatissium), Calendula/pot marigold (Calendula officinalis), Honesty (Lunaria biennis), Jatropha (Jatropha curcas)
UNIBO studied the crops: Cotton seed (Gossyium annum), caper spurge (Euphorbia lagascae), castor (Ricinus communis), safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) and cuphea (Cuphea spp.)
The information collected and evaluated by this task addresses the following topics:
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order : Asterales
Family: Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Calendula L. – marigold
Species: Calendula officinalis L. – pot marigold
Common names: Scotch-marigold, Calendula.
It is a herb reaching a height of 40-70 cm at maturity depending on cultivar. It has a deeply penetrating tap root. The leaves are elongated, spatulate, light green and tomentose hairy. The inflorescence is an orange, terminal capitulum of 4-7 cm in diameter. , 
The species Calendula officinalis or Pot Marigold is a native of the Mediterranean area (Earle et al., 1964) and in western Asia  but is grown widely across Europe , . It has been cultivated for many years as an attractive garden plant.
Calendula officinalis is a biennial, but is generally cultivated as an annual plant. It is hardy and well adapted to temperate climatic zones in Europe, although it is believed to have originated in Mediterranean. , 
Its environmental requirements are shown in the table below: