Monday, August 13, 2007

Oil Seeds: Jatropha

Jatropha is disease resistant, and grows on marginal soil. Cultivation of jatropha for biodiesel may have less impact on food costs than other oil seeds.
Almost overnight, the unloved Jatropha curcushas become an agricultural and economic celebrity, with the discovery that it may be the ideal biofuel crop, an alternative to fossil fuels for a world dangerously dependent on oil supplies and deeply alarmed by the effects of global warming.

The hardy jatropha, resilient to pests and resistant to drought, produces seeds with up to 40 per cent oil content. When the seeds are crushed, the resulting jatropha oil can be burnt in a standard diesel car, while the residue can also be processed into biomass to power electricity plants.

There is a substantial need for a renewable liquid fuel substitute for petro-diesel and gasoline. Using food oils for biodiesel would cause the cost of some foods to rise--much as the price of maize has risen due to corn ethanol for fuel.

Jatropha seems as good a crop for oil seed/biodiesel as any, for now. Eventually, genetic modification of plants may produce a much better oil seed crop.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts