The Jatropha plant or shrub like tree can grow in a wide variety of climates
By Ashwani Kumar
| September 17th 2009 01:41 PM | Print
The Jatropha plant or shrub like tree can grow in a wide variety of climates. Its seeds contain about 40% oil that can be extracted for energy as feedstock for renewable biodiesel production. Currently, the early stage Jatropha emerging market is growing at 18% annually. This promising biofuel feedstock receives about $600 million invested annually in targeted Jatropha developments.
Today, there are 242 Jatropha cultivation projects worldwide totaling roughly 930,000 hectares. The plantation production capacity is rapidly growing and should reach 13 million hectares exceeding well over $1 billion invested annually by 2015.
Most research supports the ability of consistent yields for Jatropha curcas to potentially supply about 30% of the total biofuel production. Once the Jatropha seeds are crushed and processed, the resulting oil can be used in any standard diesel engine, while the residue can also be processed into biomass to power electricity plants. Biodiesel burns on average 50% to 80% cleaner than oil or coal fossil fuels emitting substantially less carbon.