STRATEGIES FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS.
Energy Plantation Demonstration project and Biotechnology Center.
Bio-Technology Lab Department of Botany
University of Rajasthan, Jaipur - 302 004
ABSTRACT: A large number of hydrocarbon yielding plants like Calotropis procera, Euphorbia antisyphilitica have been
reported to yield bio-fuel products. Attempts have been made to increase their growth and hydrocarbon yield potential.
Studies were conducted to improve growth and productivity of these plants under field conditions In Rajasthan, Calotropis
procera grows wild while Euphorbia antisyphilitica has been introduced from Mexico. Jatropha grows wild in south east
Rajasthan which lies on south east side of Aravalli hill range which roughly divides the state in semi-arid and arid regions.
Detailed studies have been conducted on the growth and cultivation and improvement of hydrocarbon contents of Calotropis
procera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica. 12 accessions of Calotropis procera were analysed and their growth parameters
studied at the Energy Plantation Demonstration Centre, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur under Department of Biotechnology
project. Details of the investigation shall be presented.
Keywords: Biomass resources, Biomass production, Biodiesel.
India has varied agroclimatic zones which have wide
range of temperature, humidity, rainfall and soil
conditions. Growth and productivity of plant depends
upon a large number of edaphic, nutritional and
Biomass is renewable source of Energy and is produced
annually in amounts greater than the annual global
requirement of the biomass.
Use of biomass for energy and industry allows a
significant quantity of hydrocarbons to be consumed
without increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere
and thus makes a positive contribution to the Greehouse
effect and to the problems of "global change" as occurs
in both industrialized and developing countries. Further
advantages from utilization of biomass include : liquid
fuels produced from biomass contain no sulfur, thus
avoiding SO2 emissions and also reducing emission of
Biomass resources are potentially the worlds largest
and sustainable energy source a renewable resource
comprising 220 billion oven dry tones (about 4500 EJ) of
annual primary production. The annual bioenergy
potential is about 2900 EJ though only 270 EJ could be
considered available on sustainable basis and at
Most major energy scenarios recognize bioenergy as an
important component in the future worlds energy.
Projections indicate the biomass energy use to the range
of 85 EJ to 215 EJ in 2025 compared to current global
energy use of about 400 EJ of which 55 EJ are derived
Most plant species are herbaceous in nature and appear
during rainy season. They are the first colonizers & are
generally herb, which have several potential uses.
Laticiferous plants are the early colonizers. Calotropis
procera is a potential energy resource, containing latex,
an emulsion of oil and water. The oil fraction looks, feels
and acts like crude oil (1). The latex is converted into
petroleum like substances by using hydrocracking in
presence of zeolite catalysts (1). By some of the
estimates majority of the compound in latex consists of
terpenoids and sugars. The Calotropis procera is widely
distributed in Western Rajasthan while Calotropis
gigantea is found mostly under cultivated conditions near
temples in Jaipur, Bharatpur, Udaipur, Bhilwara,
Banswara division with relatively moderate climatic
The occurrence of Calotropis species is related to the
climatic conditions. Calotropis procera growing in
Jaisalmer and productivity of have detergent properties
so they are given in cholera. The fresh roots are used as a
toothbrush and are considered by pathans to cure
toothache. Aak is an alternative, tonic and diaphoretic, in
large dose emetic. The plant produces latex in the
laticifers. and triterpenes. From the hexane-insoluble
fraction of this plant a new free cardenolide named
proceragenin has been isolated. The medicinal
importance of Calotropis procera prompted the studies
on pharma-cological screening of the antibacterial and
anti-aggregating activities of proceragenin. Procesterol, a
new steroidal hydroxy ketone, has been isolated from it.
Once the early colonizers are able to establish the trees
make their appearance. Trees like Acacia spp are most
prominent in the area. They make the upper tier.
Such well colonized lands can be used for growing
Euphorbia antisyphilitica which has yield potential of
upto 80 dry tones in 5 year rotation cycle.
Jatropha curcas can also be grown in this model and
during the present study a three tier model is proposed
for wasteland colonization and production of biofuels.