Update on Jatropha & Biodiesel


                                                                                                                        October 2006

Last time I talked about jatropha & biodiesel was back in my newsletter of May of 2005. It seemed the jatropha movement was in it's infancy back then. Even the biodiesel industry was just picking up steam back then. There are many new refineries being built in the US. And farmers and big businesses are investing heavily in the industry.

I love this little plant called jatropha...

In the summer of 2005, I bought some jatropha curcas seeds just to see if I could grow the plants in Savannah, GA. I know it gets too cold here for the plant to thrive, but I sprouted some seeds and planted them anyway. What I found out is that these things are practically indestructible! They froze solid over the winter and all their leaves fell off. Nothing but a stem was sticking out of the ground. But in the spring of 2006, they sprouted leaves again! I even accidentally broke one of the stems completely off and put it in water for a couple of weeks till it sprouted some roots. Then I stuck it in a pot of dirt and left it there over the winter. The stem strangely stayed green in the pot of dirt. It had no branches or leaves at all. Guess what?... in the spring it sprouted leaves and started growing again!

 

That's what is so great about jatropha...

It's practically indestructible and needs very little water and will grow in semi arid soil. And on top of that... it produces a lot of oil. The only negative things I have heard about it are that people in some countries are chopping down virgin rainforests to plant the jatropha trees and also there's the problem of it being poisonous (sometimes kids eat the nuts and get sick). I have heard that it may irritate the skin of harvesters, but I'm not too sure about that. Anyway, the world is adopting jatropha like never before.

 Here are two new site in India that promote jatropha...

http://www.jatrophabiodiesel.org/index.php

http://www.jatrophaworld.org/index.html

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For more info on biodiesel, click on this link Make Biodiesel.

 

 

 

 

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