Division Chair:      Hussein Abdel-Haleem
USDA-ARS ALARC                 
                                21881 North Cardon Lane
                                Maricopa, Arizona, USA 85138 
                                Phone: 520-316-6355

                                Fax: 520-316-6330 
                                Email: Hussein.Abdel-Haleem@ars.usda.gov

Scope of the Division:

The scope of the division is to conduct research and development in support of industrial oilseed crops.  The members of the division work in various disciplines, including germplasm development, genetic engineering, cultivation and agronomic practices, and industrial processing technologies. Research performed ranges from fundamental biology to marketing of different crops and their products for supporting of product commercialization.

Many industrial oilseed crops currently grown throughout the worldwide are used to produce various bio-based products such as lubricants, adhesives, components of plastics, degradable inks, paint additives, and detergent surfactants. The growing biodiesel market offers the potential for large-scale use of oilseed crops. In addition, the U.S. imports oils such as castor oil and palm oil for industrial use. Some crops have a high unusual fatty acid composition in their seed oil. For example, castor oil contains up to 90% ricinoleate (12-hydroxyoctadeca-9-enoic acid), and vernonia oil contains 73-78% of vernolic acid (12,13-Epoxyoctadeca-9-enoic acid). These traits can confer unique chemical and physical properties and provide improved products out outperforming to petroleum-derived counterparts.

Crops Investigated: