Global Clean Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: GCEH) has announced a collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a $30 million pilot project. The project is part of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Grant, and it will investigate the benefits of using Camelina sativa (camelina) as a non-food renewable fuel feedstock. The agreement allows initiation of the project, known as the Climate-Smart Camelina Project.
The initiative is set to measure, validate, and promote the climate advantages of camelina, a plant traditionally grown in Europe and Central Asia. Its use in rotational (on fallow acres) and winter crop (double-crop rotation) production systems will be tested. In addition, the project encourages farmers to cultivate camelina to produce feedstock for renewable biofuels and chemicals.
This new approach is anticipated to curb land-use change and enhance carbon capture in the soil. Additionally, it will aid in developing markets, providing growers with additional revenue streams and premium prices for this low-carbon-intensity crop.
Richard Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of Global Clean Energy, commented on the project, stating, “We’re excited to begin this important work to help prove what we have known internally for years – that camelina has the potential to be the lowest carbon intensity feedstock option on the market.” Palmer continued to highlight the substantial environmental benefits of camelina, hoping that the data collected from this project would spur its adoption and grower confidence.
The project will involve detailed measurements on different scales to evaluate the biofuel’s production efficiency and carbon intensity. It will also assess soil carbon sequestration and general agronomic best practices. By using various data collection methods, the project aims to cross-reference approaches, calibrate sensors, and validate models for long-term, low-cost scalability.
Some of the key benefits this project seeks include improving soil health, increasing the total carbon sequestered within soils, decreasing the carbon intensity associated with growing camelina, and enabling growers to access affordable and reliable measurements.
Global Clean Energy, which boasts the most significant global camelina patent and intellectual property portfolio, will execute this project. The company’s subsidiary, Sustainable Oils, Inc., contracts directly with farmers to grow camelina in several key U.S. regions. In addition, the grain of the camelina plant is utilized as a source for Global Clean Energy’s ultra-low carbon renewable fuels produced at their Bakersfield Renewable Fuels refinery in California.