Pennycress, also known as stinkweed and frenchweed grows widely in the American Midwest, it completes its lifecycle in late spring and so does not interfere with the growth of soy and corn crops. This horticultural characteristic could make it the perfect plant to grow for biofuel because it neatly sidesteps the issue of displacing food for fuel. Terry Isbell and colleagues at the new crops and processing technology group at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research at Peoria, in Illinois, say the seeds of pennycross produce 36% oil by weight and the plant grows at a density of one tonne over an area of just 4000 square meters. Pennycress seed oil contains a range of fatty acids from 16-carbon to 24-carbon chain length.
Weedy solution for biofuels