Cocklebur shows promise as an alternative biodiesel source
By Melissa Smith // Jul 25, 2019

Researchers from Bozok University in Turkey examined whether cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.) seed oil could be used as an alternative biodiesel source. The team published their results in the Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry.


  • Renewable energy sources are used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by fossil fuels.
  • Among these energy sources, biofuel has become increasingly important throughout the world because it can be produced from both edible and non-edible oils, which is strategic when food shortage is considered.
  • Cocklebur is an annual wild plant species commonly found in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, North Africa, and North America.
  • They obtained a maximum of 35 percent crude oil from cocklebur seeds.
  • In addition, they found that cocklebur seed oil contains 11.37 percent oleic acid and 76.97 percent linoleic acid.
  • They also measured important fuel properties such as density, flash point, water content, copper strip corrosion, iodine value, linolenic acid, methyl ester, and sulfated ash content values in cocklebur seed oil.
  • They found that these values of cocklebur seed oil were within standard ranges.
  • Cocklebur oil biodiesel could be used as a blending fuel for disease fuel because of its higher kinematic viscosity.
  • They also performed a cost analysis of cocklebur plant cultivation and compared it to other field crops.
  • Cocklebur cultivation would be feasible because the plant can be easily grown in dry areas.
  • Cocklebur is also agriculturally profitable compared with other field crops grown in dry areas.
  • The researchers explained that the production of the cocklebur plant as an industrial plant may contribute to energy shortages without competing with food production.

Overall, the researchers concluded that cocklebur is a promising energy source.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

For more studies on alternative energy sources such as cocklebur, visit

Journal Reference:

Cesur C, Eryilmaz T, Uskutogly T, Dogan H, Cosge Senkal B. COCKLEBUR (XANTHIUM STRUMARIUM L.) SEED OIL ANDITS PROPERTIES AS AN ALTERNATIVE BIODIESEL SOURCE. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. 2018; 42: 29-37. DOI: 10.3906/tar-1708-21

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