UPM Biofuels is developing a new feedstock concept by growing Brassica Carinata as a sequential crop in South America. The Carinata crop produces non-edible oil suitable for biofuels’ feedstock and protein for animal feed.
The sequential cropping concept enables contract farmers to take agricultural land into use outside the main cultivation period, in winter time, without compromising existing food production. This does not cause any land use change, prevents erosion and improves soil quality. Carinata will provide additional income to local farmers, who do not normally have their fields in productive use during winter. In South America UPM grows and tests Carinata with third-party farmers in Uruguay and Brazil.
Carinata is an oilseed crop specially designed for sustainable production of biofuels. UPM has made a long term agreement with Canada-based Brassica Carinata crop developer Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. who utilise non-GMO technologies to improve crop varieties.
“Sustainable land use is UPM’s core competence. We are developing this sequential cropping concept with Carinata as it provides new feedstock solutions for low carbon biofuels without compromising existing food production,” says Petri Kukkonen, Head of UPM Biofuels Development.
Biofuels produced from Carinata oil reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 70% compared to fossil fuels.
“Exploring new feedstocks is part of UPM Biofuels’ long term development. In addition to the Carinata concept, UPM studies waste and residue as well as wood-based feedstocks for biofuels,” says Kukkonen.
The Carinata concept has no direct impact on the operations of UPM’s Lappeenranta Biorefinery in Finland.