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Jatropha another promising bio fuel PDF Print E-mail
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One option that is fast gaining attention is the use of wasteland to produce jatropha. This four-foot woody shrub bears inedible golf ball–sized fruit with seeds containing oil that can be turned into biodiesel.

In addition to being a drought resistant, low-maintenance shrub with a 50-year lifespan, jatropha requires little fertilizer or water.The Indian State Railway has planted 7.5 million jatropha plants along rail lines in that country and uses the oil in its diesel-powered locomotives.

The government has identified 11million hectares of wasteland that can be used for this shrub.

One of the early enthusiasts, O. P. Singh, a horticulturalist for India’s Ministry of Railways, says that one day “every house will have jatropha.”Jatropha diesel can be produced for $43 per barrel, a price comparable to that of sugarcane-based ethanol but well below that of other biofuels.

Companies that process vegetable oils are offering farmers in India long-term, fixed-price contracts for their harvest of jatropha seeds.

A U.K. biodiesel company, D1 Oils, has already planted 150,000 hectares of jatropha in Swaziland, Zambia, and South Africa. A Dutch firm, BioKing, is developing plantings  in Senegal. China is also considering large scale production of jatropha.

 
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