Evaluation of Jatropha curcas by-products
Biofuels have a strategic value in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and the ability to increase our energy security. Growing and processing oil-rich biomass into biofuel in the U.S. would contribute to reduce this dependence. The objective of this project is to evaluate the conversion of oilseeds that could be grown in the U.S. and U.S. territories into a substitute of hydrocarbon fuel. One particular crop is Jatropha curcas, a bush belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae. A feasibility study shows that the crop will be economical if plantation by-products can be of commercial value, which would decrease the energy crop costs, hence make it competitive. As a parallel, oil-rich feedstock like soybean is grown in the U.S. not just for its oil, but for the value of its protein-rich meal. As for Hevea, Jatropha curcas stem and other plant parts contain a sap-like extract known as latex that is the primary source of natural rubber. It also contains substances that are
toxic and that renders any by-product unsafe for human or animal consumption. Jatropha curcas oil press cake cannot be sold or easily disposed of, making the seeds less attractive economically. Some of these substances may be used as a natural pesticide or could find direct medical applications, e.g. in fighting lice and scabies (Mange). Another notable physiological property of phorbol esters is their capacity to act as tumor promoters in cancer research. The husks of J. curcas fruits can be directly used as a fuel in the oil seed processing facility, which lowers the power consumption. Also, plant mass built under- and above ground could be traded on the growing carbon markets. These studies will be conducted as an integrated part of a larger project focusing on the development of Jatropha curcas as a viable biofuel crop on sub-prime lands.
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ALTERNATIVE AVIATION FUELS LLC
29 LEGENDARY CIR Port Chester, NY 10573
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