PETROSS engineered crops to produce bio-oil that can be converted into biodiesel or jet fuel.
Plants naturally produce sugar as well as a type of oil that can be converted into clean-burning biodiesel and jet fuel. However, there is only 0.05% oil in the plant because the oil is quickly metabolized into other chemicals. PETROSS crops have been engineered to speed up production and slow down consumption. The crops’ oil can be used to produce biodiesel while the sugar can be consumed, or converted into ethanol— thus PETROSS crops are a bioeconomy contained within a single genome.
At the end of this project, PETROSS sugarcane could produce 8-13% oil, which could yield more than 4.5 times more biodiesel per acre than soybeans, with enough sugar left over to produce two times more ethanol than an acre of corn.