The Latest in next-wave biofuels feedstock reports: Jatropha

June 8, 2014 |

From Kenya, a study from ICRAF this spring showed that jatropha isn’t a viable crop for the country because there is no market for the seeds, the values and yields are low, farmers don’t know how to grow it well and its early reputation as a miracle crop has destroyed most of the farmer appetite for the plant. This report is here.

Looking at yield and break even, this study from Zimbabwe conducted by Environment Africa and WWF did a study on jatropha production at household level and found that it was economically viable even if yields were as low as .5kg per hectare when jatropha cake along with other byproducts and household lighting were the aim. When the model was to sell the seeds to crushers for biodiesel production, the benefits didn’t work out for communities. This report is here.

Conversely, researchers at the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) at Bhavnagar found that jatropha is safer and provides better fuel economy than fossil-based diesel. However, the researchers reported minimal availability of jatropha seeds, despite the 4% lift in fuel economy. This report is here.

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Category: Research

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