Biofuels with special reference to ecological impacts of biofuel cultivation Why Bio Diesel ? Many alternative Bio Diesel fuels have been shown to have better exhaust emissions than traditional Diesel fuel. Jatropha Bio diesel holds promise as fuel alternatives for diesel engine because :- Bio Diesel are renewable fuelDepletion of the Primary FuelsBio Diesel are agriculture orientedA number of researches have shown that jatropha bio diesel has fuel properties and provides engine performance that is very similar to diesel fuel The severe emission regulations in the world have placed design limitations on heavy duty diesel engines. The trend towards cleaner burning fuel is growing worldwide and it is possible through Jatropha bio diesel. Bio diesel includes a high cetane number, low sulfur , low volatility and the presence of Oxygen atoms in the fuel molecule Expected efficiency is achieved through Bio diesel.Bio diesel performs better than the Petroleum dieselJatropha bio diesel readily mixes with diesel fuel and it runs in any diesel engine without modificationReduces serious air pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxides, hydrocarbons and air toxic Nearly 80 species are known to produce oil from seeds Even though there are plenty of varieties of tree borne oil seeds, Jatropha Curcas shrubs 31 to 37 % of oil is extracted from a Jatropha seed. Jatropha Curcas seed can be used as Bio diesel for any diesel engine without modification Selling treated Jatropha seeds, and quality sapling Dark blue dye and wax can be produced from the bark of the Jatropha curcas plants Jatropha plant Stem is used as a poor quality wood : Bio fuel Jatropha curcas leaves helps in dressing the wound. Jatropha roots help in making yellow dye Juice of the flowers of Jatropha curcas and the Jatropha stem has very good medicinal properties Pounded seeds are used in tanning Press Cake : Jatropha becomes Organic fertilizer and soil improver Jatropha curcas extracted oil are used as :Bio Diesel, Varnishes, Illuminants, Soap, Pest control and Medicinal for skin diseases, and others BANGALORE, India, April 8, 1998 (ENS) - Since February 1998, the oil from the seed of the Pongamia pinnata tree is being used as a substitute for diesel in electricity generation in rural Karnataka state. The tree is native to the Western Ghats of India, and distributed eastwards to Fiji and Australia. This form of fuel is being used in a project called SUTRA (Sustainable Transformation of Rural Areas) run by scientists from Asia's premier scientific research institution, the Indian Institute of Science. Professor Udupi Shrinivasa, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Science, based at Bangalore, is also head of SUTRA. He is optimistic that pongamia oil will prove to be a practical and inexpensive substitute for diesel to serve power needs in rural areas. Shrinivasa has filed for a patent on the commercial use of pongamia oil as an alternative fuel. SUTRA is currently being funded by India's Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy and the state government of Karnataka. In the year 2000, SUTRA will be granted US$10 million from the Global Environment Facility, a body set up to help conserve the world's biodiversity, and funded by the World Bank, United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations Development Programme. Then plans are to replicate the project in other states of India. Pongamia tree Characteristics of the pongamia tree. The pongamia tree yields anywhere between nine to ninety kilos (20 to 200 pounds) of seeds per year. One kilo (2.2 pounds) of seeds produces one-quarter of a kilo of oil. The residual crushed seed, known as oil cake, is a good source of manure. One kilo of oil generates three units of electricity, and the economics of all this works out to much lower than the current price of diesel. The villages in Karnataka are already familiar with pongamia oil and seed. They use the oil for lighting lamps and the seed for soil fertiliser. Biodiesel or fuel from renewable products is not a new concept - Rudolf Diesel himself experimented with vegetable oils in his engine in 1900. Before World War II, the multi-fuel ability of the diesel engine was recognised, but inexpensive and readily available petroleum fuels overtook vegetable oils. The OPEC embargo and subesequent price increases in the 1970s renewed research in using vegetable oils as fuels. More recently, concern over the environmental impacts of fossil fuels has increased impetus for research in biodiesels. The most common subjects of alternative fuel experiments are sunflower, rapeseed, castor, flax, palm, and coconut oils as well as animal fats. Biodiesel has been extensively tested by government agencies, university researchers and private industry in the United States, Canada and Europe. More than one hundred biodiesel tests, including three one-million-mile tests have been completed. Performance, fuel mileage and driveability were found to be similar to petrodiesel fuel. The most notable difference is that vegetable based fuels emit less exhaust fumes. In Europe, Austria has led the way in standardising biodiesel. Austria has made it mandatory to use biodiesel in areas of high risk to the environment, which immediately created a domestic market for production of vegetable oil fuel. A recent proposal to the European Council to allow use of biodiesel in diesel engines borrows heavily from Austrian standards. The most significant deterrent to biodiesel use in Europe and America is its high price in these areas. Even with improved technologies, it still costs more to produce a litre of biodiesel than a litre of petrodiesel. Special tax treatments would be needed to promote commercial use of this fuel. Another drawback to biodiesel is the high viscosity or thickness of vegetable oils which results in early engine damage. More research is currently being conducted for improvement in this area. The situation in developing countries, on the other hand, is the opposite. Most developing countries cannot afford to import petroleum based fuels to generate industry. But most also have access to sources of vegetable fuels like the pongamia which is distributed in tropical regions. So in developing countries, vegetable oils could become cheaper than petrodiesel, even if the diesel is heavily subsidised, as in India. In developing countries, there is no shortage of manpower for technical maintenance of the engines. Frequent cleaning of fuel injectors and filters are less of a problem. In the case of pongamia oil, Shrinivasa says a simple filtering in rural areas is sufficient. In colder parts of India and other developing countries, the problem of freezing of waxes and gums in the oil could be solved by simple heating. It may be possible to encourage the sustainable growth of the pongamia tree on India's over 90 million hectares (roughly 2 billion acres) of degraded lands. Since the tree is not grazed upon by cattle, rural areas could well be serviced in energy, economic and environmental benefits by the pongamia pinnata.