State-of-the-art of the Jatropha curcas productive chain: From sowing to biodiesel and by-products

Contran, N. and Chessa, L. and Lubino, M. and et al, . (2013) State-of-the-art of the Jatropha curcas productive chain: From sowing to biodiesel and by-products. Industrial Crops and Products, 42. pp. 202-215.

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In the forthcoming years, 1–2 million hectares of Jatropha curcas L. are expected to be annually planted, reaching 12.8 million hectares worldwide by 2015. This considerable expansion is due to its products and byproducts multiple uses and its amazing adaptability. J. curcas oil extracted by seeds is a promising renewable feedstock for biodiesel production and, together with the oil extraction by-products, it can be used as cooking/lighting fuel, bio-pesticide, organic fertilizer, combustible fuel, and for soap making. The capability to grow on poor quality soils not suitable for food crop makes J. curcas a possible solution of all the controversies related to biodiesel production. Furthermore, J. curcas contributes to mitigate environmental problems, such as marginal land or abandoned farmland reclamation. Nevertheless, J. curcas is not a “miracle tree”: (i) the full potential of J. curcas is far from being achieved and its talents are still to be supported by scientific evidences; (ii) J. curcas capabilities are not easily exploitable and applicable simultaneously; (iii) its use is controversial and potentially unsustainable due to the current knowledge gaps about the impacts and potentials of J. curcas plantations. The aims of this review are to detail each phase of J. curcas productive chain from sowing to biodiesel and by-products, in order to logically organize the knowledge around J. curcas system, and to compare potentialities and criticalities of J. curcas, highlighting the agronomical, management, and environmental issues which should be still investigated.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research was funded by Regione Autonoma della Sardegna with a research grant co-financed with the PO Sardegna FSE 2007–2013 L.R. 7/2007 “Promozione della ricerca scientifica e dell’innovazione tecnologica in Sardegna”. The paper has been inspired also by the on-field experience gained by the authors in the context of the project “Use of Jatropha plant to improve sustainable renewable energy development and create incomegenerating activities: an integrated approach to ensure sustainable livelihood conditions and mitigate land degradation effects in rural areas of Ghana (Ghaja)”, within the “Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy” programme (EuropeAid), which is here acknowledged. The authors wish to thank Francesco Fava for his helpful comments and suggestions, and their partners of the Ghaja project: George Yaw Obeng, Micheal Adjaloo, Stephen Kwasi Nutsugah, James Mantent Kombiok, Joseph Yeng Faalong, Christopher Akai, Thomas Sayibu Imoro Sr., Osmaan Sahanoon, and Sualisu Fuseini.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physic nut, Biodiesel, Vegetable oil, Land use, Biomass
Author Affiliation: Desertification Research Group (NRD), University of Sassari, Viale Italia 57, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Subjects: Plant Production
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 03:51
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2012 05:50
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