One of the most promising alternative biofuels, competitive with regular petrol, diesel or jet fuel is biodiesel, especially derived from plant oils. Until now, various technological approaches, as well as oil sources, have been proposed for biodiesel production, but an industrially scalable technology with high end-product quality and production efficiency has not been developed and brought to the market yet. Biodiesel is produced in Europe and North America mainly from rapeseed, or canola, sunflower and soybean oil. However, other underutilized plant species could also be considered as potential oil feedstocks for biodiesel. The great perspective holds Brassicaceae family, especially such species as false flax (Camelina sativa) and Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata), but many other Brassicaceae crops are still out of sight.


This research has been conducted aiming to identify and compare the productivity of several Brassicaceae crops (camelina or false flax (C. sativa), turnip rape (B. campestris), oil radish (Raphanus sativus var. oleifera) and tyfon (B. rapa ssp. oleifera f. biennis × (ssp. rapifera × ssp. pekinensis)), that are suitable for biodiesel production under conditions of temperate climate regions (Northern America, Europe); and to obtain biodiesel by transesterification of fatty acids present on these species using bioethanol.

Methods and Materials:

Seed oil content, yield and fatty acid profiles have been studied and analysed in different genotypes of C. sativa (10), winter (6) and spring (4) B. campestris, R. sativus var. oleifera (8) and tyfon (5). The most productive crops have been identified: false flax variety ‘Evro-12’ (1620 kg of oil per hectare) and ‘Peremoha’ (1657 kg/ha); winter turnip rape variety ‘Oriana’ (1373 kg/ha), oil radish variety ‘Kyianochka’ (1445 kg/ha) and tyfon varieties ‘Fitopal’ (1730 kg/ha) and ‘Obriy’ (1860 kg/ha). According to chromatographic analysis results, oils of winter turnip rape and tyfon contain high levels (38-42,8%) of erucic (22:1) acid, while oils from spring turnip rape, false flax and oil radish possess high amounts of short-chained fatty acids (not longer than C18) – up to 85,37% in camelina breeding line FEORZhYaFD. Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) were produced from oil of best genotypes and proved to comply with all main quality requirements for diesel.


Moreover, a new solvent-based technology of high-yield (up to 96%) FAEE production, has been firstly proposed for C. sativa oil conversion.


Best genotypes that can be used as a plant oil source for biodiesel production have been identified for camelina, turnip rape, oil radish and tyfon species. The data obtained on seed oil content, yield and fatty acid profiles suggested that they are: false flax – breeding form FEORZhYaFD; winter turnip rape - variety ‘Oriana’; oil radish - variety ‘Rayduha’ and tyfon hybrid - variety ‘Fitopal’. Biodiesel samples obtained from these plants fit the Ukrainian standards for diesel fuel and can be used in car engines. The proposed new technological approach to produce fatty acid ethyl esters allows to reduce reaction time and to increase esters yield and quality.

Keywords: Brassicaceae, Oilseeds, Breeding, False flax, Turnip rape hybrid, Fatty acids, Biodiesel, Transesterification, Fatty acid ethyl esters.
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