Sunday, October 05, 2008

5 Tonnes Oil per Hectare w/ Jatropha?

Selectively bred Jatropha plants may boost yield from the traditional 1.7 tonnes oil per hectare up to 5 tonnes per hectare. And on marginal lands unfit for growing food!
"From the wild jatropha seed the best you can expected is about 1.7 tonnes of oil per hectare, but because there has been hardly any plant science applied to the plant there is huge potential for improvement," he said. "There is enough genetic material to cross fertilise and selective breed to increase yields."

D1 Oils believes that some of the seeds it is working on could result in yields of 2.7 tonnes per hectare and Prince maintains that yields on a par with palm oil of about five tonnes per hectare could be feasible.

He added that the company's plantations were living up to expectations that jatropha can prove successful on marginal dry land unsuitable for agriculture. "We are encouraging farmers to plant on land not used for food crops such as marginal land or areas used for cash crops such as tobacco," he said. "It does not need to be planted on the high-quality arable land that is used for food crops."

.....The company is now seeking to rapidly scale up its plantation operations in response to soaring demand worldwide for an energy crop that promises to be both more sustainable and cheaper than more established alternatives.

Prince said that jatropha-based biofuel would cost between $800 (£453) and $900 a tonne, compared with about $1,200 for biofuel made from soya or rape seed. "Of all the energy crops being looked at for biodiesel, jatropha definitely looks the most attractive," he said. "The issue is now with supply rather than demand. We are looking to undertake more planting with an initial aim of selling into markets in Africa and Asia where the plantations are. As we scale up, we can look to build up a supply chain to import into Europe, though you need large production levels to start thinking about hiring tankers." _source
Jatropha cannot yield as much oil as palm oil, but it grows in a wider range of climates and soils. It requires much less cultivation and water than palm, as well.

Eventually algal oils will outproduce other sources of bio-oils, except perhaps for pyrolysis "oil." But for now, algal oil costs $20 a gallon to produce, which is not competitive with soy, palm, rape, jatropha, or other current sources of biodiesel.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts