K-State Researchers Working to Improve Biofuel Feedstocks

Cindy Zimmerman

K-State researchers Timothy Durrett and Ruth Welti

Kansas State University researchers are working with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to improve oilseed crops for use as biofuels and other bioproducts.

Timothy Durrett, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, and Ruth Welti, university distinguished professor of biology, received nearly $1.9 million to better understand how changing the biochemistry of oilseed plants alters their oil production.

The research group is working with camelina and pennycress — non-food oilseed crops that can be used as cover crops by farmers. Durrett says these plants have not benefited from the breeding that has increased yield in other crops. This research will help scientists better understand how the plants synthesize fatty acids to make lipids while also improving oil production and crop profitability.
Learn more about the research.

biofuels, feedstocks, Research