TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Researchers from Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska hope to begin testing in the next year on a potential diesel replacement.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that their work is focused on modifying a plant called Camelina sativa to lower its viscosity – essentially, its resistance to flowing. Plant oils typically have a high enough viscosity that they build up in engines, limiting their use as petroleum product replacement.
Assistant biochemistry and molecular biophysics professor Tim Durrett, of Kansas State University, is working on the project with experts from Michigan State University and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Durrett says that before testing can begin, enough of the modified seeds must be harvested. He says the researchers are “excited about giving farmers more options.”