Jatropha Curcas Oil: A Sustainable Source for Production of Biobiesel


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Jatropha Curcas Oil: A Sustainable Source for Production of Biobiesel

  1. 1. Journal of Scientific & Industrial ResearchVol. 64, November 2005, pp. 883-889 Jatropha curcus A sustainable source for production of biodiesel Naveen Kumar* and P B Sharma Delhi College of Engineering, Bawana Road, Delhi 110 042 Non-edible oils like Jatropha, Pongamia, Argemone, Mahua, Castor, Sal etc., can be used for the production of bio- diesel. Jatropha curcus has enormous potential for biodiesel production in India. J. curcus is a multipurpose plant with many attributes and considerable potential. It is a tropical plant that can be grown in low to high rainfall areas and can be used to reclaim land, as a hedge and/or as a commercial crop. Thus, growing it could provide employment, improve the environment and enhance the quality of rural life. Keywords: Biodiesel, Jatropha curcus, Diesel engine, Diesel fuel, Transesterification IPCCode: F02B13/10Introduction aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene), PAHs and nitro- For more than two centuries, the world’s energy PAHs. Although diesel engine produces lesser amountsupply has relied heavily on non-renewable crude oil of CO and total hydrocarbon compounds (THC) thanderived liquid fuels, out of which 90 percent is spark ignition (SI) engine, it forms large quantities ofestimated to be consumed for energy generation and fine particulate matter (PM). Diesel particles mainlytransportation. Known crude oil reserves are consist of carbonaceous material, soluble organicestimated to be depleted in less than 50 years at the fraction (SOF), sulfates and traces of metals. Somepresent rate of consumption1. India, like most of the constituents of SOF (PAHs and nitro-PAHs) aredeveloping countries, is highly dependent on imported mutagenic and/or carcinogenic6. Since diesel enginescrude oil. India has imported about 82 million tons of of buses and trucks exhaust a huge amount of NOxcrude oil (70% of its requirement) and petroleum and particulates, a clean alternative fuel is highlyproducts during 2003–2004 causing a heavy burden demanded. Biodiesel derived from vegetable oilon foreign exchange. The demand of crude oil has (VOs) attracts attention as a promising one to beincreased dramatically and country’s cost for import2 substituted for conventional diesel fuels7.of crude oil has increased substantially (Table 1). The heating value of VOs is similar to that of diesel However, since India’s economy depends mainly fuel. However, their use in direct injection diesel engineson agricultural activities, the utilization of national is restricted by some unfavorable physical properties,resources for energy production is an extremely particularly viscosity, which is approx ten times higherimportant issue. Diesel engines have been widely than the diesel fuel. Therefore, use of vegetable oil inused as power of engineering machinery, automobile, direct injection diesel engines creates poor fueland shipping equipment for its excellent drivability atomization, incomplete combustion, carbon depositionand thermal efficiency3. Diesel fuels, in India are used on the injector, and fuel build up in the lubricant oilsin heavy trucks, city transport buses, locomotives, resulting in serious engine fouling. VOs viscosity can beelectric generators, farm equipment, underground lowered by dilution of oil with a suitable solvent,mine equipment, etc4. The consumption of diesel fuels emulsification, pyrolysis, and transesterification8.in India in 2003-04 was 36.625 million tons, which isroughly five times that of gasoline5. Biodiesel (fatty acid methyl esters), which is Diesel emission contains carcinogenic components, produced by transesterification of triglycerides withsuch as carbonyl compounds (formaldehyde); light methanol, has become increasingly important due to diminishing petroleum reserves and the environmental_______________*Author for correspondence consequences of exhaust gases from petroleum-fueledE-mail: naveenkumardce@rediffmail.com engines.
  2. 2. 884 J SCI IND RES VOL 64 NOVEMBER 2005 Table 1 Production and import of crude oil in India2 Year Production Import Total Import Import value Million tons Million tons Million tons as % of total Rs crore US $ billion 1971 6.8 11.7 18.5 63 107 0.024 1981 10.5 16.2 26.7 61 3349 0.744 1991 33 20.7 53.7 39 6118 1.360 2000 32 57.9 89.9 64 30,695 6.821 2003–04 33.4 90.4 123.8 73 81,000 18 2004–05 33.4 100 133.4 75 121,500 27 Table 2—Cultivated area of oilseed plants11 accounts for 8.5 percent of world oilseed production. Country Oilseed area % of world Yield It is the worlds leading importer of edible oil (15 % Million ha oilseed area Tons/ha of global vegetable oil imports in 2002-2003) ahead USA 35.98 18.94 2.10 of the European Union and China, and is likely to India 32.00 16.84 0.89 remain an important demand for foreseeable future. China 28.01 14.74 1.84 Import represents around 55 percent of India’s edible Brazil 22.51 11.85 2.45 Argentina 16.24 8.55 2.32 oil consumption and about half the value of its total Canada 5.86 3.09 1.55 agriculture imports12. Russia 5.45 2.86 1.00 Basically VOs are either edible or non-edible and Pakistan 3.59 1.89 1.05 the plants are annual or perennial. Apart from France 1.85 0.97 2.69 cooking, both these categories also have applications; Germany 1.31 0.69 2.83 UK 0.54 0.28 3.33 like in medicine, food preservation, soap making, Italy 0.31 0.16 2.23 illuminants, lubricants, paints, drying, etc. Edible oils like, coconut, sesame, rape-mustard, safflower, niger, Its combustion does not increase current net linseed has the pride place in history way back to Rigatmospheric levels of CO2, a greenhouse gas. It can be Vedic era. Other edible oil plants introduced later ondomestically produced, offering the possibility of includes groundnut (1800 AD), soybean (1910),reducing petroleum imports; it is biodegradable and sunflower (1940) and oil palm (1966). In non-ediblerelative to conventional diesel fuel, its combustion oil category, there are at least 150 species mainlyproducts have reduced levels of particulates, CO2, trees or shrubs yielding oils that are not consumedSO2, HCs, soot and, under some conditions, NOx9. directly by man or animal. The main outlet for theseLarge harvests of traditional crops, low farm prices, oils in India is soap making and Ayurvedic medicines.dependence of foreign energy sources andenvironmental problems have increased interest in In Indian context, the important issue is to growenergy generated from plant sources such as oilseed trees. The wastelands (70 million ha) in thebiodiesel. The major benefit of biodiesel production is country can be made to become green and yield oilthat there is no need to follow the uni-focal approach and bio-residues for various uses. Growing these oil-of concentrating and utilizing the same VO in each bearing plants on wastelands, as avenue trees and inand every corner of the globe. Each country can the back yards all over the nation will improve theproceed in the generation of particular oil, depending availability of these oil seeds. Further local growthupon the climate and economy. associated in crushing, and marketing may encourage the entrepreneurs to start small industries to produceIndian Oilseed Sector: An Overview raw or finished goods. This is one of the best ways of Under "technology mission on oilseeds" in 1986, controlling urbanization by providing opportunitiesfrom a mere 11 million tons during 1986-87, India locally. This is one of the factors that may contributeattained an all-time record oilseed production of 25 to the concept of ‘Sustainable Rural Areas’ wheremillion ton in 1996-9710. On the oilseed map of the environment and people are inter-dependent.world, India occupies a prominent position with In the developed countries, such as the US,regard to area under cultivation; however, the yield is Australia, Germany and France, biodiesel is beinglowest among all other countries (Table 2). India extracted from plants like saffola, sunflower, soybean,
  3. 3. KUMAR & SHARMA: JATROPHA CURCAS-A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL 885 Jatropha curcus as a Feedstock for Biodiesel J. curcus can thrive on any type of soil and in problematical soils. Jatropha lends itself to plantation with advantage on lands developed on watershed basis and on low fertility marginal, degraded, fallow, waste and other lands such as along the canals, roads, railway tracks, on borders of farmers’ fields as a boundary fence or live hedge in the arid/semi-arid areas and even on alkaline soils. As such it can be used to reclaim wastelands in the forests and outside. It can be grown in areas of low rainfall (200 mm/y). In high rainfall and irrigated areas too it can be grown with higher yields. It occurs mainly at lower altitudes (0-500 m) in areas with average annual temperature well above 20°C but can grow at higher altitudes and tolerates slight frost. The introduction has been most successful in the drier regions of the tropics with annual rainfall of 300-1000 mm. It grows on well- drained soils with good aeration and is well adapted to marginal soils with low nutrient content. It attracts no insects and is not browsed by cattle or sheep. Propagation by seed/cutting is easy. Jatropha is easy to establish, grows relatively quickly and is hardy. Therefore, it can be grown in most parts of the country. Jatropha seeds17 (0.4-12 tons/ha/y) are easy to Fig. 1 Jatropha plant15 collect as they are ready to be plucked before theetc, which are essentially edible in India. In India, rainy season and as the plants are not very tall. Seedsnon-edible seed crops like Jatropha curcus (ratanjot, contain non-edible oil (35%); oil yield per hectare isjatropha), Pongamia pinnata (karanj) and Madhuca among the highest of tree borne oil seeds. Being richindica (mahua) can provide oil, which can be in nitrogen, the seed cake is an excellent source ofdeveloped as biodiesel depending on site-specific plant nutrients. Jatropha is a close relative to therequirements13. Among non-edible species, J. curcus castor plant; its oil has similar medical properties.is considered to be most suitable for making biodiesel. Jatropha cultivation in the villages has the potential to promote following developments18: i) Erosion controlJatropha (Jatropha curcus L.; Family, Euphor- and soil improvement; ii) Promotion of women; iii)biaceae) Poverty reduction; and iv) Renewable energy. J. curcus is a drought resistant species which iswidely cultivated in the tropics as a living fence14. It Establishmentis a small tree or large shrub up to 5 m high (Fig. 1) Freshly harvested seeds show dormancy and after-living more than 50 years. Branches contain latex. ripening is necessary before the seeds can germinate.Normally, five roots are formed from seeds, one Dry seed will normally germinate readily withoutcentral (taproot) and four peripheral. Cuttings, when pretreatment. If this is the case, it is not recommendedplanted, do not form a taproot. Plant is monoecious to remove the seed coat before sowing. Although itand flowers are unisexual. Pollination is by insects. speeds up germination, there is a risk of gettingSeeds are toxic to humans and many animals. Every abnormal seedlings. Germination is fast (10 days)part of the plant15 can be used for one application or under good conditions. Germination is epigeanother (Fig. 2). Jatropha grows over a wide range of (cotyledons emerge above ground). Soon after thearid and semi-arid climatic conditions. It grows well first leaves have formed, the cotyledons wither andin shallow soils and is commonly found growing in fall off. In the nursery, seeds can be sown ingravel, sandy and clayey soils16. germination beds or in containers. Although the
  4. 4. 886 J SCI IND RES VOL 64 NOVEMBER 2005 Fig. 2—Uses of Jatropha plantseedlings grow very fast, they should stay in the or hitting and shaking the branches till the fruits breaknursery for 3 months until they are 30-40 cm tall. By off. Seeds collected from live fences can normally bethen, the plants have developed their repellant smell reached by hand. For taller trees, it is possible toand will not be browsed by animals19. The trees are collect the fruits in a small bag that is attached to adeciduous, occur during the wet season and two stick. In Costa Rica, a tree produces about 30 kg fruitsflowering peaks are often seen. In permanently humid per year or about 12 kg seed (yield, 4800 kg seed/ha).regions, flowering occurs throughout the year. The After collection, the fruits are transported in openseeds mature about three months after flowering. bags to the processing site and dried until all the fruitsEarly growth is fast and with good rainfall conditions have opened. Sun drying has a negative effect on seednursery plants may bear fruits after the first rainy viability and that seeds should be dried in the shade.season, direct sown plants after the second rainy When the seeds are dry they are separated from theseason. The flowers are pollinated by insects fruits and cleaned. The seeds are orthodox and shouldespecially honey bees. be dried to low moisture content (5-7%) and stored in airtight containers. At room temperature, seeds canHarvest retain high viability for at least one year. However, When fruits begin to open, seeds inside are mature. because of high oil content, seeds cannot be expectedCollection is best done by picking fruits from the tree to store for as long as most orthodox species.
  5. 5. KUMAR & SHARMA: JATROPHA CURCAS-A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL 887 Fig. 3—Conversion of Jatropha seeds into biodieselTable 3 Physico-chemical characteristics of J curcas oil and Properties of J. curcus Oil and its Biodiesel its metyl/ethyl esters Oil contains following fatty acids15: Myristic Parameter Oil Methyl Ethyl (14:0), 0.1; Palmitic (16:0), 14.1-15.3; Stearic (18:0), ester ester 3.7-9.8; Arachidic (20:0), 0.3; Behenic (22:0), 0.2; Density at 15ºC, g/cm3 0.920 0.879 0.886 Viscosity at 30ºC, cSt 52 4.84 5.54 Palmitoleic (16:1), 1.3; Oleic (18:1), 34.3-45.8; Flash Point, ºC 240 191 190 Linoleic (18:2), 29.0-44.2; and Linoleic (18:3), 0-0.3 Acid No., mg KOH/gm 0.92 0.24 0.08 %. Viscosity, diglycerides and phophorus decrease Sulfated ash, %m/m 0.014 0.010 drastically15 when oil is converted to methyl/ethyl Cetane No. 51 59 Conardson carbon residue, 0.025 0.018 esters (Table 3). %m/m Methyl/ethyl ester, %m/m 99.6 99.3 Economics of Biodiesel from Jatropha curcus Monoglycerides, %m/m 0.24 0.55 Biodiesel is produced by transesterification of oil Diglycerides, %m/m 2.7 0.07 0.19 extracted from seeds (Fig.3). The by products of oil Triglycerides, %m/m 97.3 NA NA extraction and transesterification processes are oilcake Methanol, %m/m 0.06 0.05 and glycerol which have a good commercial value. Water, %m/m 0.07 0.16 0.16 Free glycerol, %m/m 0.015 NA The cost components of biodiesel are the price of Total glycerol, %m/m 0.088 0.17 seed, seed collection, transport of seed, oil extraction Phosphorus, ppm 290 17.5 17.5 and oil transesterification. The cost of oil extraction Table 4 Breakup of biodiesel cost and its processing into biodiesel is recoverable to a great extent from the income of oilcake and glycerol, S No Item/Expenditure Amount Rs which are valuable by products. Assuming cost of 1 100 kg seeds @ Rs 5/kg 500/- seed at Rs 5/kg and 100 kg seed giving 30 kg of oil, 2 Oil extraction and other 150/- cost of biodiesel is approx Rs 20.90/l, if glycerol charges @ Rs 1.50/kg 3 Transesterification cost @ 240/- could be sold at Rs 20/kg (Table 4). Rs 8/kg oil Total 890/- India’s Target of Biodiesel Production India has nearly 63 million ha of wasteland, of Sale which 33 million ha have been allotted for tree 1 70 kg oilcake @ Rs 2/kg 140/- plantation. Jatropha can grow well in wasteland with 2 Glycerol 3 kg @ Rs 20/kg 60/- 3 Total 200/- very little input. The target for biodiesel production is Net expenditure incurred 690/- to be set up to meet the projected demand for to get 30 kg/33 l oil biodiesel on the basis of 20:80 blend (biodiesel : Cost of biodiesel/l 20.90/- HSD). However, in the beginning 5% blend could be
  6. 6. 888 J SCI IND RES VOL 64 NOVEMBER 2005 Table 5 Petrodiesel and biodiesel demand and area required under Jatropha17 Year Petrodiesel Biodiesel 5% Area for 5% Biodiesel 10% Area for 10% Biodiesel 20% Area for 20% demand blend blend blend blend blend blend Million tons Million tons Million ha Million tons Million ha Million tons Million ha 2006-07 52.33 2.62 2.19 5.23 4.38 10.47 8.76 2011-12 66.90 3.35 2.79 6.69 5.58 13.38 11.19 Table 6 Worldwide21 biodiesel production capacity (million 20 percent petrodiesel consumption by biodiesel. gallons/y) Jatropha oil will not only reduce the burden on Country 1997 2000 2003 exchequer by reducing the import of crude petroleum, but would also bring a new dawn of cleaner France 21.0 76.4 98.3 environment. Hence efforts should be made on large- Germany 21.6 61.4 73.7 scale cultivation of J. curcus on wastelands and other USA 1.0 7.0 25.0 unused land. There is urgent need to carry out Italy 0.4 10.5 23.4 Austria 5.1 6.0 8.3 research studies which could address the Belgium 4.5 5.1 6.0 biotechnological issues related with J. curcus and the Total 53.6 166.4 234.7 effective production of biodiesel from J. curcus. The extensive training should be provided to the farmersutilized in the transportation and oil based captive and rural entrepreneurs so that they could learn thepower production. India’s target is to achieve latest technology and agro-practice related to Jatropha20 percent substitution of HSD by biodiesel by 2012 cultivation and biodiesel production.beginning with 5 percent in 2006-07. HSD demand bythe end of 11th Plan (2011-12) is estimated to be References66.9 million tons requiring 13.38 million tons of 1 Sheehan J, Cambreco V, Duffield J, Garboski M & Shapouribiodiesel, which in turn will require plantation of J. H, An overview of biodiesel and petroleum diesel life cycles,curcus over about 11.2 million ha of land17,20 (Table A Report by U.S department of Agriculture and Energy, 1998, 1-35.5). Biodiesel plants grown in 11 million ha can yield a 2 Subramanian K A, Singhal S K, Saxena M & Singhal S,revenue of approx Rs 20,000 crore a year and provide Utilization of liquid biofuels in automotive diesel engine: Anemployment to over 12 million people both for Indian perspective, Biomass & Bioenergy, 29 (2005) 65-72.plantation and running the extraction plants. Biodiesel 3 Xing-Cai L, Jian-Guang Y, Wu-Gao Z & Zhen H, Effect ofproduction in world is increasing and production has cetane number improver on heat release rate and emissions of high speed diesel engine fueled with ethanol–diesel blendincreased multifold (Table 6). fuel, Fuel, 83 (2004) 2013-2020. 4 Srivastava A & Prasad R, Triglycerides-based diesel fuels,Conclusions Renewable & Sustainable Energy Rev, 4 (2000) 111-133. J. curcus has enormous potential for farmers and 5 TEDDY 2003-04 (TERI Publication, Habitat Center, Newrural entrepreneurs to improve their economic Delhi) 2004. 6 Baldassarri L T, Battistelli C L, Conti L, Crebelli R, Berardiscondition through large scale cultivation of this plant B D, Iamiceli A L, Gambino M & Iannaccone S, Emissionon degraded land and on the hedges of their fields. It comparison of urban bus engine fueled with diesel oil andis well adapted to marginal areas with poor soils and ‘biodiesel’ blend, Sci Total Environ, 327 (2004) 147-162.low rainfall, where it grows without competing with 7 Kang B-S, Kim M-J, Park Y M, Kim K, Lee J-S & Lee K-Y,annual food crops, thus filling an ecological niche. Transesterification of vegetable oil to biodiesel usingCombination of erosion control and oil production heterogeneous base catalyst, Catalysis Today, 93-95 (2004) 315-320.from J. curcus would provide ample opportunity to 8 Dmytryshyn L, Dalai A K, Chaudhari S T, Mishra H K &replace diesel with homegrown, environmental Reaney M J, Synthesis and characterization of vegetable oilfriendly biodiesel. The biodiesel revolution would derived esters: evaluation for their diesel additive properties,bring prosperity in India by reducing oil import bill. Biores Technol, 92 (2004) 55-64.As J. curcus is not browsed by cattle, it can grow 9 Du W, Xu Y, Liu D & Zeng J, Comparative study on lipase- catalyzed transformation of soybean oil for biodieselwithout protection and can be used as a hedge to production with different acyl acceptors, J Mole Catalysis B:protect fields. Sufficient land is available for Enzymatic, 30 (2004) 125-129.cultivating Jatropha to meet the 11.2 million ha target, 10 Dahiya S B, Why do depend on imported oilseeds (Thewhich would eventually be sufficient to replace Tribune, Chandigarh) 13 August 2001.
  7. 7. KUMAR & SHARMA: JATROPHA CURCAS-A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL 88911 Production Estimates and Crop Assessment Division, FAS, 15 Gubitz G M, Mittelbach M & Trabi M, Exploitation of the USDA, July 2004 www.fas.usda.gov/wap/circular/2004/04- tropical oil seed plant: Jatropha curcus L, Biores Technol, 67 07/Oils.pdf (1999) 73-82.12 India’s Edible Oil Sector: Imports Fill Rising Demand, 16 Biodiesel plants, CRIDA Newsletter, January-June 2004, 3-4. Report No. OCS-0903-01, Electronic Outlook Report from 17 Report of the Committee on Development of Biofuel the Economic Research Service, USDA, USA, (Planning Commission, Govt of India, N Delhi) 2003. http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/OCS/nov03/OCS0903 18 IK Notes, No. 47, (Knowledge and Learning Center, Africa 01/ocs090301.pdf Region, World Bank, 1818 H Street, N W, Room J5-055,13 Bhattacharya P & Joshi B, Strategies and institutional Washington, D C 20433) August 2002. mechanisms for large scale cultivation of Jatropha curcus 19 Jatropha curcus L. Seed Leaflet No. 83 (Danida Forest Seed under agro-forestry in the context of the proposed bio-fuel Centre, Humlebaek, Denmark) 2003. policy of India, ENVIS Bull Grassland Ecosystems & Agro- 20 Excerpts from the Address of Hon’ble President of India at forestry, 1(2) (2003) 58-72. Interaction with the Course Participants of National Defence14 Henning R, A Guide to the Jatropha System and its College, New Delhi, 30 November 2004 Dissemination in Zambia (GTZ-ASIP-Support-Project http://presidentofindia.nic.in/scripts/sllatest1.jsp?id=433. Southern Province, P O Box 630613, Choma, Zambia) 2000. 21 Render, February 2004, pp16-19, www.rendermagazine.com.