Linseed Oil
Field of flax

Linseed (or flaxseed) oil is another vegetable oil with interesting biofuel potential.


Linseed, or flaxseed, oil is a good example of the versatility of many vegetable oils with biofuel potential. Woodworkers mix this oil with a thinning agent, such as turpentine, and use it indoors to condition furniture, fixtures and hardwood floors. The oil penetrates the wood, preventing it from becoming too dry and cracking or scuffing. Outdoors, a similar treatment prevents wood from absorbing too much water, which would hasten weathering and rot [source: DIY].

Linseed oil without the thinning agent has been shown to be a valuable preservative for human health, too. Like a number of other vegetable oils mentioned in this article, linseed oil appears to lower cholesterol and promote heart health [source: Ridges].

The plant fibers in flax are used to make linen, meaning that this biofuel crop can be used for both its seeds' oil and its stalks' fiber. This multiuse nature could make linseed oil a more attractive biofuel than other crops whose nonseed parts lack the value of flax [source: Shirke].