Presentation on theme: "Jatropha curcas: A Promising New Source of Biofuel. Matt Harvison."— Presentation transcript:
Jatropha curcas: A Promising New Source of Biofuel. Matt Harvison
Species: Jatropha curcas Family: Euphorbiaceae A perennial shrub which grows up to 5 meters high. It is a drought resistant plant requiring an average annual rainfall of mm. The grows best at a average annual temperature of degrees Celsius.
Jatropha can grow in marginal to poor soil. The shrub is easy to establish and grows quickly. It can live and produce seeds for up to 50 years. The center of origin is believed to be in Mexico and the Central Americas. Each inflorescence can form around 10 fruits.
Benefits of Jatropha Low cost of seeds. High oil content. Small gestation period. Grows on good to poor soils. Grows in low to high rainfall. Plant size makes seed collection convenient.
The seeds of Jatropha contain 37% oil. The oil can be extracted after 2- 5 years of growth. The oil can be combusted as a fuel without being refined. The oil burns clear and smokeless, and has been successfully tested in simple diesel engines.
The Negatives of Biodiesel The low yield of oil extracted compared to land used. We will lose crops used as food for production of fuels. The increase in demand of crops as fuel crops will increase the cost of the same crops for food. A large amount of land will be required to grow crops for use of biodiesel.
Jatropha’s Solution Soybean and Rapseed have low oil yields compared to Jatropha. Soybeans produces 375kg per hectare. Rapseed produces 1000kg per hectare. Jatropha produces 3000kg per hectare.
Jatropha’s Solution Jatropha is not a food crop and can be grown primarily as a crop for biodiesel. Jatropha can be intercropped along with coffee, fruits, sugar, and vegatables.
Benefits of Intercropping Farmers are not solely dependent on one crop. Reduction of lay out of fertilizer. Promotes a return to the land. Little economic resources to produce a variety of products.
Additional Jatropha Benefits Byproducts of biodiesel production can be used as an organic fertilizer and the oil contains an insecticide. The nuts and young leaves can be eaten. The sap can be used as a dye.
Negatives of Jatropha The oil yields are unpredictable. It’s a toxic plant. Special facilities are required for crushing. Special handling is required for farmers due to its toxicity. Labor intensive crop because each fruit ripens at different times, and must be harvested separately. Has a possible invasive nature.
Variables that effect oil yields Climate Quality of soil Irrigation Weeding Use of fertilizer Crop density Genotype Use of pesticides Intercropping
Toxins Curcasin found in the oil. Toxalbumen curcin found in the embryo. Croton resin found in the seeds. In the seed cakes after oil extraction, contain curcin.
Toxins Croton resin cause redness and pus filled eruptions of the skin. Curcin is similar to ricin in Castor, it is a strong irritant, but is also being used for anti-tumor treatment.
Future Outlook It is believed to take about 5 years of research before Jatropha cultivation is economically viable. By the end of the year the first large scale Jatropha- based biodiesel plant will open in China.