Here are some facts and figures about Jatropha relating to its growth as an oil product:


Jatropha Saplings

 

 

Press for extracting oil from jatropha seeds

 

 

 

 

 

The following stats come from Green NRG Oils the biodiesel division of Global NRG Ltd:

 

         Crushing 1 tonne of Jatropha seeds costs around $40 .

         1 tonne of seedcake (the leftovers after pressing) can be sold for $100 .

         The transport costs of shipping 1 tonne of jatropha from Malaysia to Northern Europe is $100.

         The landed cost of 1 tonne of jatropha oil to Northern Europe is between $348 and $400.

         Refining jatropha oil into biodiesel costs less than $125 per tonne.

         Filtered jatropha oil can be used as is in many diesel vehicles (as SVO) with only small modifications required to the engine.

         Jatropha oil can be used as a kerosene substitute for heating and lamps.

         Jatropha is also used in the manufacture of soap.

         Jatropha oil burns with a clear smokeless flame.

 

 

Jatropha Oil and Biodiesel

 

With some modification it is possible to run many diesel engined vehicles on unrefined vegetable oil. The oil needs to be pre-heated, and well filtered before use to prevent coagulation. Biodiesel is the name given to any diesel equivalent biofuel which can be used in an unmodified diesel engined vehicle.

In general biodiesel is most commonly made with a mixture of vegetable oil and methanol. With a flash point of 160 degrees C it is classified as non-flammable, and it is also biodegradable and non-toxic. On its own biodiesel has much lower emissions than petro-diesel, and it can also be mixed with petro-diesel to reduce emissions. B20 for example is a fuel containing 20% biodiesel and 80% petro-diesel. Pure biodiesel is B100.

 

Biodiesel is a form of Bio-fuel made by ripping apart the fat molecule to release three free fatty acid esters, and a sugar called glycerol, which is a waste by-product. It is chemically called Free Fatty Acid Methyl Ester.  It can be made from processed organic oils and fats.  It may be burned in normal diesel engines like normal mineral diesel, and its use does not pollute the atmosphere nor add to the causes of global warming. Processing detaches the three hydrocarbon chains to make Biodiesel, and glycerine. The Biodiesel is washed and dried, ready for use.  The glycerine can be used to make soaps or fermented to make ethanol which is re-used to make more Biodiesel, or it can be burned as a heating fuel.

Biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 78%, and carbon monoxide emissions by 50%. It also completely eliminates sulphur emissions.

For vehicles made before the early 1990's there is a problem with the use of biodiesel. The rubber hoses and gaskets used before that time can degrade in the presence of biodiesel. Newer cars have synthetic hoses and gaskets, and of course older cars can have their hoses and gaskets replaced before biodiesel is introduced. Biodiesel is also more solvent than petro-diesel and so it will rapidly break down any deposits of old residue in a vehicle's fuel lines and fuel tank and clog the fuel filter. Therefore, after making the transition to biodiesel it is important to change the fuel filter around 1000 miles after switching.

 

Usable biodiesel has a density of 0.86-0.92 g/ml (grams per millilitre - pure water is roughly 1g per ml).

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