Expect jatropha biodiesel projects to proceed

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Now that Congress passed legislation averting the “fiscal cliff,” which included extensions of tax credits for cellulosic biofuels and renewable biodiesel, the handful of biofuel refinery projects in the late stages of design or early construction will proceed.

Industrial Info Resources reports that “eight projects are expected to see major advances this year, and two of these projects already have moved from pre-development into the field.”

The news brief didn’t include insight on whether any of the projects involved include jatropha as a feed stock, but reports from back to 2010 indicated biodiesel from jatropha was on the front burner for the U.S. in south Florida and the southern most southwest. It is highly likely that jatropha will prove itself as a biodiesel feed stock in the U.S. if results in Cuba are any indication.

What makes jatropha of interest in the U.S. is why Cuba is ahead of the U.S. by being able to produce biodiesel from the jatropha plant seed. One Cuban biodiesel plant is reportedly operating and a second biodiesel plant to use jatropha exclusively is undergoing trials in the country's central province of Matanzas.

“The Cuban government is planning to build three more biodiesel units, which will be fed with inedible plants. Cuba has some 110 hectares of land cultivated with jatropha curca, an oil-rich plant, which will provide the feed for the new plant. The seeds of the shrub, also known as "milk nut," are rich in oil but toxic for human consumption. It also has the advantage that it can be grown in harsh terrain, which does not offer any value to general agriculture,” according to Industrial Info Resources.

The use of land that isn’t of value for food production is a major consideration for Cuba, which is hard pressed to be anything close to food secure from its own farming. The success of using land in the Southwest U.S. that doesn’t have value for food production or doesn’t turn a profit for farmers is extremely important for jatropha to be a successful biodiesel feed stock in the U.S.

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Kevin Parker    
Indonesia  |  January, 07, 2013 at 09:26 PM

With all the vacant marginal land available, the climate and abundant labour force make Indonesia the ideal place to grow jatropha and produce Crude Jatropha Oil (CJO) to be used as feedstock for both Biodiesel and Bio-SPK. If anyone is interested in Jatropha plantations please contact me.

india  |  January, 08, 2013 at 01:48 AM

The 6th Global Jatropha World 3.0 Integrated Nonfood Biodiesel Farming & Technology Training Programme which shall be held September 23-27, 2013 at Jaipur, India, is mostly dedicated to multifeedstocks for building a sustainable biodiesel industry. The JatrophaWorld 2013 is designed to educate all stakeholders about critical issue of availability of right feedstock at right cost to make biodiesel a long-term business opportunity. Global JatrophaWorld 2013 marks the 6th edition with resounding success. www.jatrophabiodiesel.org http://www.jatrophaworld.org/global_training_44.html

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