Global demand for plant oil has increased by nearly 70% over the last decade (see OECD-FAO for further details). In response to higher demand plant oil production also grew strongly. However, this growth has been far from sustainable and resulted in destruction of natural habitats such as rain forests.
The use of plant oils as feedstock in industrial applications like bio jet fuels or bio plastics is expected to further increase the pressure to expand plant oil production on a global scale. Conversion of agricultural land for such purposes can threaten food security in developing countries.
INOCAS is implementing agricultural concepts allowing for a sustainable production of plant oils and resulting in significant carbon sequestration. These concepts include the integration of oil-bearing trees and palms in afforestation projects and in silvopastoral systems. Concepts for annual oil crops comprise intercropping and catch-cropping systems which also reduce carbon emissions from soil erosion.
All concepts are developed in cooperation with the Platform for Sustainable Aviation Fuels – a research project at the Leuphana University Lueneburg in cooperation with Yale University and the University of South Australia.
Lufthansa AG is among INOCAS first partners from the industry.