Monday, April 28, 2008

Jatropha Curcas as a Bio Fuel?

A couple of years ago, I was on a plane reading an article about bio fuels. The article was trumpeting the benefits of a raggedy plant called Jatropha Curcas (pronounced JAT-ruff-uh cur-cuss). According to the article, the plant grew like a weed, but is more like a tree. It sounded like the perfect plant for bio diesel.

I assumed that I would be hearing about it in the news soon, but I never did. So, whatever became of Jatropha Curcas as a bio fuel? Why don’t we hear more about it?

By now, most of us realize the dangers of using corn as a bio fuel. It drives up food costs, it encourages the razing of forests, it injects nitrogen and pesticides in soils (nitrogen causes green house gases from soil microbiological processes), and it takes food needed for starving people and puts it in cars. I realize that oversimplifies the issue a bit, but the broad strokes are there for discussion.

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Silver Sweet said...

I like this write up a lot. You should look into yields of BTUs / acre of this versus other feed-stocks like switch-grass. I would be really interested in seeing how much energy an acre of cellulosic material delivers versus this plant.

Kenny said...

Thanks, Silver Sweet. I'll look into that.

Tom Evans said...

You certainly do post randomly here!