Non-food Crops-to-Industry schemes in eu27”

НазваниеNon-food Crops-to-Industry schemes in eu27”
Дата конвертации04.02.2013
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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

Co-beneficiaries: ITERG

Authors: Xavier Pages, Carine Alfos

Co-beneficiaries: UNIBO – University of Bologna

Authors: Andrea Monti, Lorenzo Nissen

June 2011

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:

  1. Calendula/pot marigold (Calendula officinalis),

  2. Caper spurge (Euphorbia lagascae),

  3. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus).

  4. Castor (Ricinus communis),

  5. Cotton seed (Gossyium annum),

  6. Crambe (Crambe abyssinica),

  7. cuphea (Cuphea spp.)

  8. Ethiopean mustard (Brassica carinata),

  9. Honesty (Lunaria biennis),

  10. Jatropha (Jatropha curcas)

  11. Linseed/flax (Linum usitatissium),

  12. Rapeseed (Brassica napus),

  13. Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)

  14. Sunflower (Helianthus annus)

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:

  • Plants anatomy

  • Areas of origins and current cultivation

  • Growing conditions-input requirements

  • Logistics (harvesting-handling) until the industrial plant gate

  • Yields

  • Quality

  • Applications: current-potential

  • Research gaps

  1. Calendula (Calendula officinalis L.)

    1. Plant anatomy

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants

Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants

Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants

Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants

Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons

Subclass: Asteridae

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. [2], [3]

    1. Domestication and area of origin

The species Calendula officinalis or Pot Marigold is a native of the Mediterranean area (Earle et al., 1964) and in western Asia [2] but is grown widely across Europe [4], [5]. It has been cultivated for many years as an attractive garden plant.

    1. Growing conditions

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. [3], [5]

Its environmental requirements are shown in the table below: [8]







Temperature requir.





Rainfall (annual)










Soil pH





Light intensity

Very bright

Very bright

Very bright

Clear skies

Soil depth

Medium (50-150 cm)

Shallow (20-50 cm)

Soil texture

Medium, light

Medium, light

Soil fertility



Soil Al. tox

Soil salinity

Low (<4 dS/m)

Low (<4 dS/m)

Soil drainage

well (dry spells)

well (dry spells)

Climate zone

Steppe or semi arid (Bs), subtropical dry summer (Cs), temperate oceanic (Do), temperate continental (Dc), temperate with humid winters (Df), temperate with dry winters (Dw)

Killing temp. during rest

No input
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