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Leaf oil revolution

Breakthroughs in biotechnology are allowing us to extract record amounts of plant oil for home and industrial uses.

There's a new oil boom on the horizon...

[Image shows a close-up of a leaf]

[Text “Leaf Oil” appears on the screen]

[Text “180 megatonnes of plant oils are currently consumed each year, with many uses…” appears on the screen]

[Image shows livestock, food, fibres and a fuel pump]

[Image shows a shot flying over a canola field, with the text “Canola 26 MT/Y”]

[Image shows a field of sunflowers, with the text “Sunflower 15 MT/Y”]

[Image shows a tractor in a soybean field, with the text “Soybean 47 MT/Y”]

[Image shows an oil palm plantation from above, with the text “Oil palm 70 MT/Y”]

[Text “But.. we need more…” appears on the screen]

[Text “Leaf Oil” appears on the screen]

[Graph appears showing 75 megatonnes of use in 1998, 185 megatonnes in 2017 and 220 megatonnes in 2036. Source: USDA, OECD/FAO.]

[Text “By studying seeds rich in oil we can now make oil in leaves” appears on the screen]

[Text “Actually, we can make a lot more oil…” appears on the screen]

[Image shows a comparison between a wildtype and high oil tobacco plant, with 1% oil in the wildtype and 33% oil in the high oil plant]

[Text “Bottle = 1t oil/ha” appears on the screen]

[Image shows a comparison between a soybean (half a bottle of oil), sunflower (three-quarters of a bottle of oil), canola (one bottle of oil), oil palm (five bottles of oil) and tobacco (five bottles of oil]

[Text “And this is only the beginning” appears on the screen]

[Image and text shows pictures of tobacco (33.3% oil – CSIRO), potato (3.3% oil – CSIRO), sorghum (8.4% oil – CSIRO), sugarcane (8% oil – PETROSS) and ryegrass (7% total lipids – AgResearch ata matai, matai whetu)]

[Image shows a tobacco field]

[Text “Welcome to the next plant oil boom” appears on the screen]

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Australia’s National Science Agency]

CSIRO research has developed a novel method of lifting the yields of biomass boil out of plants – a necessity in the face of increased plant oil demand.

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