International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AD...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 –
6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 64...
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  1. 1. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED RESEARCH IN 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (IJARET) ISSN 0976 - 6480 (Print) ISSN 0976 - 6499 (Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October 2013, pp. 246-255 © IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijaret.asp Journal Impact Factor (2013): 5.8376 (Calculated by GISI) www.jifactor.com IJARET ©IAEME JATROPHA CURCAS THE POSSIBLE USES, POTENTIAL PRODUCTS AND CURRENT STRATEGIES FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN INDIA Pankaj K. Tyagi1*, Nida Khan2, Shruti Tyagi1, Mansi Mishra2 and Harish Sharma2 1 Department of Biotechnology, Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology, Meerut Uttar Pradesh, India. 2 Students of Master of Technology in Biotechnology Department of Biotechnology Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology, Meerut Uttar Pradesh, India. ABSTRACT Jatropha is well adapted to marginal areas with poor soils and low rainfall, where it grows without competing with annual food crops, thus filling an ecological niche. It is widely distributed in the tropics and is already used to a certain extent. Any further promotion of its use would, therefore, be facilitated by this. The species has numerous uses and in their combination lies the potential of this crop. The most important is the combination of erosion control and oil production. The use of the oil as a substitute for diesel fuel and for soap production in rural areas would improve the living conditions of the people and would offer additional income. As Jatropha is not browsed by cattle, it can grow without protection and can be used as a hedge to protect fields. All parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine and active components are being investigated in scientific trials. Several ingredients appear to have promising applications both in medicine and as a plant protectant. Finally these plants have a great possibility to zeal new things in the field of science and research for biotechnocrates. INTRODUCTION Jatropha is a genus of flowering plants in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. The name is derived from the Greek words jatros, meaning "physician," and trophe, meaning "nutrition," hence the common name physic nut. It contains approximately 170 species of succulent plants, shrubs and trees (some are deciduous, like Jatropha curcas). Most of these are native to the Americas, with 66 species found in the Old World. Mature plants produce separate male and female flowers. As with many members of the family Euphorbiaceae, Jatropha contains compounds that are highly toxic. In 2007 Goldman Sachs cited Jatropha curcas as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production. It is resistant to drought and pests, and produces seeds containing 27-40% oil, averaging 246
  2. 2. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME 34.4%.The remaining press cake of Jatropha seeds after oil extraction could also be considered for energy production. However, despite their abundance and use as oil and reclamation plants, none of the Jatropha species have been properly domesticated and, as a result, their productivity is variable, and the long-term impact of their large-scale use on soil quality and the environment is unknown. Igbinosa and colleagues (2009) demonstrated potential broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of J. curcas. Economic, environmental and energy security concerns resulting from excessive reliance on petroleum are forcing countries the world over to shift to alternatives like biofuels in the form of ethanol and biodiesel (Farrell et al. 2006). Since biofuels can be produced from a diverse set of crops each country is adopting a strategy that exploits the comparative advantages it holds with respect to such crops. For example, the sugarcane and maize are the main feedstock for ethanol in Brazil and US respectively, while the production of biodiesel in Malaysia is from oil palm. The Government of India (GoI) has launched a National Mission on Biofuels with the aim of achieving a target of 20% blending of biodiesel by 2012 (CDB 2003). It should be pointed out that such a target has however not been mandated by law and is merely indicative of government preference at this point. Apart from reducing the dependence on imported fuels, the mission aims to generate several other benefits like employment generation for the rural poor, regeneration of wastelands, reduction of emissions resulting from energy use that can lead to positive economic and environmental change. The aim of this paper is assess whether such benefits can indeed result from the current strategies of the biofuel mission. ITS POSSIBLE USES The whole Plant Use as a boundary marker (Hedges or live fencing) In most countries Jatropha plants are planted in the form of protection hedges, or as single trees for medical purposes. In many cases Jatropha is planted in the form of hedges to demarcate fields or roads. This can reduce potential boundary disputes. Since even goats do not browse Jatropha, this plant is used worldwide to protect gardens and field crops from roaming animals. The protection hedges are planted from seeds or cuttings. Edges from seeds need about 2 years (3 rainy seasons) to have a protective value. Cuttings can bearranged in the form of a fence, which has its protective function from the beginning. The cuttings grow roots and form a living fence, which can live for fifty years. Use as Erosion Control and Soil Improvement Jatropha (living fences) is control unwanted animal access to the fields; they also reduce wind erosion and, if planted parallel to slopes to fix small earth or stone dams, they help control water erosion. The plant's roots grow close to the ground surface, anchoring the soil like miniature dikes or earthen bunds. These dikes effectively slow surface runoff during intensive downpours, which are common, thus causing more water to penetrate into the soil and boosting harvests. The press cake, which remains after oil extraction by the expellers, is a very good organic fertilizer, with mineral composition comparable to that of chicken manure. This has great value for agriculture in the Sahelian countries, since soils there are rapidly depleted of humus and chemical fertilizers are very expensive. The some cotton-growing company, such as, CMDT (Compagnie Malienne de Développement Textile), uses Jatropha hedges to assure a program of improved fallow: the cotton fields are protected with Jatropha hedges to keep out cattle, while the fields are sown with legumes to improve soil fertility. 247
  3. 3. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME Use as Medicinal Treatment Preparations of all parts of the plant, including seeds, leaves and bark, fresh or as a decoction, are used in traditional medicine and for veterinary purposes. The oil has a strong purgative action and is also widely used for skin diseases and to soothe pain such as that caused by rheumatism. A decoction of leaves is used against cough and as an antiseptic after birth. Branches are used as a chewing stick in Nigeria (Isawumi 1978). The sap flowing from the stem is used to arrest bleeding of wounds. Nath and Dutta (1992) demonstrated the wound-healing properties of curcain, a proteolytic enzyme isolated from latex. Latex has antimicrobial properties against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes and Candida albicans (Thomas 1989). Kone-Bamba et al. (1987) demonstrated the coagulating effects on blood plasma. Other uses in traditional medicine are described in the following sources: Irvine (1961), Persinos et al. (1964), Kerharo and Adam (1974), Quisumbing (1978), Levingston and Zamora (1983), Co and Taguba (1984), Duke (1985), Gupta (1985), Oliver-Bever (1986), Elisabetsky and Gely (1987), Lentz (1993) and Manandhar (1995). Further scientific research confirmed the effects described above in trials. Extracts from Jatropha curcas fruits showed pregnancy-terminating effects in rats (Goonasekera et al. 1995). The authors suggested further studies to elucidate whether the embryotoxic effect is due to a specific action or a result of general toxicity. Muanza et al. (1995) found that a methanol extract of Jatropha curcas leaves afforded moderate protection for cultured human lymphoblastoid cells against the cytopathic effects of human immunodeficiency virus. Extract of the leaves showed potent cardiovascular action in guinea pigs and might be a possible source of beta-blocker agent (Fojas et al. 1986). Used as to control various pests and molluscicide According to a survey by Grainge and Ahmed (1988) on plants with insecticidal properties, extracts from all parts of the Jatropha curcas show such properties. The seed oil, extracts of Jatropha curcas seeds and phorbol esters from the oil were used to control various pests with, in many cases, successful result. Table 2 shows a list of insects, which were given different preparations. As these trials are still in the experimental stage, farmers as plant protectants cannot yet use the oil or extracts. Aqueous extracts of Jatropha curcas leaves were effective in controlling Sclerotium sp., an Azolla fungal pathogen (Garcia and Lawas 1990). In laboratory experiments, ground Jatropha curcas showed molluscicidal activity against the host of liver fluke (Lymnaea auricularia rubiginosa), a disease which is widely distributed in the Philippines (Agaceta et al. 1981), and also against the hosts of Fasciola gigantea and Schistosomia in Senegal (Vassiliades 1984). Extracts from crushed whole seeds showed molluscicidal activity against several schistosome vector snails (Rug et al. 1996). Phorbol esters were probably theactive agents in the different extracts used. However, it should be pointed out that the Jatropha curcas is a host for cassava viruses that can be transmitted. Münch (1986) states that cassava superelongation disease (Sphaceloma manihoticola/Elsinoe brasiliensis) can be transmitted from the Jatropha curcas. Another Jatropha species, J. multifida, is an alternate host plant for African Cassava Mosaic Virus (ACMV), which is transmitted by whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) in India and East and West Africa (Okoth 1991). It can be assumed that this also applies to Jatropha curcas. The Leaves, Bark and Roots The leaves are regarded as galactogogue, rubefacient and antiparasitic, used against scabies, paralysis, rheumatism and hard tumors. The leaf juice is used as external application for piles. It is also applied for inflammations of the tongue in babies. The twig sap is a stypic to dress wounds and ulcers. An emulsion of the sap with benzyl benzoate is said to be effective against scabies wet eczema and dermatitis. The juice is reported to relieve tooth ache and strengthen gums. The juice of the plant is also used as purgative and haemostatic. The roots are reported to have anthelmintic 248
  4. 4. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME action and used as antidote for snake bites. The bark is used as fish poison and used externally for sores. The decoction of the bark and roots is given for the treatment in rheumatism, leprosy, dyspepsia and diarrhoea. The root bark is used to external applications for sores. The Seed The seeds can be processed (fruit hulls, oil, press cake) or sold directly as seed or for industrial use. Use as Fruit hulls Fruit hulls have no significant value as fodder, so it is best to use them as mulch or compost. They can also be burnt in fuel-efficient cooking stoves. Use as oil extraction The seeds contain 32 to 35 % of oil. With mechanic oil expellers (like the Sundhara press) up to 75 - 80 % of the oil can be extracted. With the Yenga hand press only 60 - 65 % of the oil can be extracted (5 kg of seeds give about 1litre of oil). Use as Press cake The press cake constitutes some 70 - 80 percent of the total mass of the seeds, depending on the extraction rate. The press cake cannot be used in animal feed because of its toxic properties. Because of its nitrogen (6 % N2), phosphorous (2.75 % P2O5) and potassium (0.94 % K2O) content, which is similar to that of chicken manure, it is valuable as organic manure. In practical a term an application of press cake is equivalent to mineral fertilizer. Due to its residual oil content, the press cakes also have insecticide properties, and reduce the amount of nematodes in the soil. Use as Biogas and Charcoal production The seed cake still contains oil. Hence the seed cake still contains much energy. The cake can in principle be converted into bio-gas by digestion in bio-gas tanks, together with other input materials, such as dung, leaves etc. The biogas can be used for cooking and lighting. The residue can still be used as organic fertilizer, as it retains all of its minerals and nutrients. Seed cake can be processed into pellets using screw-type presses. These pellets can be used for direct combustion, or they can be converted into charcoal where there is sufficient demand for charcoal, such as in the neighborhoods of large cities where there is a deforestation problem, such as in Tanzania. No experiments are known so far. Diligent and others do work on this topic. Use as Anticancer Treatment The latex of Jatropha contains the alkaloids such as 'jatrophine', 'jatropham' 'Jatrophone' and ‘curcain’, which are believed to have anti-cancerous properties. Leaves contain apigenin, vitexin and isovitexin. The amyrin, stigmosterol and stigmastenes along with two new flavonoid glycosides found in leave and twig. The seed fat is rich in palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids. The toxicity of the seeds is because of 'curcin' alkaloids. It is used to dress sores and ulcers and inflamed tongues. The alkaloids of latex such as Jatrophine and Jatropham are found to have anticancerous properties. The latex is applied topically against honeybees and wasp stings. It is also used as an external application for skin diseases; burns ring worms, haemorrhoids and ulcer. The tender twigs are used for cleaning teeth. 249
  5. 5. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME The oil Use as Soap Production Many government and non-government organizations provide rural women with enginedriven grainmills to ease their work of food preparation. However, these grainmills need external resources of fuel, lubrication oil, spare parts and maintenance. Consequently, the introduction of such a grainmill tends to lead to an impoverishment of the village because of the cash required both to buy and to transport these external resources to the village. By using locally produced Jatropha oil as fuel and lubrication oil, some of this cash outflow from the village can be stopped. Traditionally, rural women used Jatropha curcas for medicine (seeds as a laxative, latex to stop bleeding and against infections, leaves against malaria) and for soap production. The traditional soap-making process is very laborintensive, producing small amounts of relatively poor-quality soap. When Jatropha oil is used, either alone or in combination with other local plant oils such as shea butter, larger amounts of a more refined soap are produced. The women can easily sell this soap in local markets and nearby towns, increasing their possibilities of earning income with local resources. Use as oil for lighting / cooking Jatropha oil cannot be used in normal paraffin lamps because its chemical properties differ to those of paraffin. To use Jatropha oil for lighting the paraffin lamps the “Binga Trees Trust” developed a very simple design for a Jatropha oil lamp. It is a small glass filled with oil up to 3 - 5 cm below the rim. On the oil floats a small cork disc (or a disc of a maize spindle) wrapped in aluminium foil to prevent the cork burning. A hole in the centre of the disc contains a cotton wick. The floating wick holder is centred using matchsticks. Thus the flame of the oil lamp is only some 1 or 2 mm above the surface of the oil and gives a quiet and steady light. It seems that the smell of this light also repels mosquitoes. Research has been conducted into developing cookers that would run on plant oil, but no practical results have yet been achieved. Use as Bio fuel or Jatropha oil Besides the above, the plant has gained prominence as a source of biofuel. The seeds contain moisture (6.62%), protein (18.2%), fat (38%), carbohydrates (17.3%), fibre (15.5%) and ash (4.5%). The oil content is 35-40% in seeds and 50 - 60% in kernel. The oil contain 21% unsaturated fatty acids. The oil obtained from decorticated seeds by expression or solvent extraction is known in the trade as 'Jatropha'. This is an environmentally safe, cost effective and renewable source of nonconventional energy as a promising substitute to hydel power, diesel, kerosene, LPG, coal, firewood etc. This non-conventional energy source will save considerable foreign exchange and help in removing regional imbalance in energy use. Jatropha oil can be used as a direct substitute to kerosene as fuel for cooking and heating. It was also observed that the smoke of Jatropha oil is almost odorless and nonpungent; unlike kerosene and the fumes do not have an unpleasant smell in the food. Diesel forms nearly 40% of the total energy consumed in the form of oil. The annual import of crude oil is estimated to be Rs. 50,000 crores. The oil import will be an unbearable drain on our foreign exchange reserves and the resultant foreign exchange crunch can cripple the entire economy. The non-edible vegetable oil of Jatropha curcas has the requisite potential of providing a promising and commercially viable alternative to diesel as it has the desirable physico-chemical and performance characteristics comparable to diesel to facilitate continuing to run the machine without much in change design. 250
  6. 6. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME Use as Renewable Energy (energy supply for lighting and stationary engines in the rural area) In the rural areas, Lister-type engines are used to drive grain mills and water pumps. These inexpensive precombustion chamber diesel engines of Indian origin require only the addition of a fuel filter to be able to run on pure Jatropha oil, thus eliminating the need for gazoil entirely. Furthermore, at maximal load conditions the Jatropha oil gives even better results than gazoil because of its high oxygen content. Based on tests conducted by the Jatropha Research, the oil can also be successfully used as a lubricant in these engines. In equivalent terms, the energy needed to produce Jatropha oil in mechanical presses amounts to about 10% of the oil obtained. Because Jatropha oil can be produced inexpensively, it can also be sold at prices lower than gazoil's official price at the petrol stations. Even more important than the price is the possibility of local energy production, because of the periodic unavailability of gazoil in the rural areas caused by lack of road access during rainy season. The technology for using natural pure Jatropha oil as substitute for paraffin oil for lamps and cookers is not yet available. Different research centers are working on it. Use as Poverty Reduction (protecting crops and selling seeds) By promoting the integrated utilization of the Jatropha plant cultivation can provide direct financial benefits to the rural economy. To illustrate this with a rough calculation, assume the average village of the pilot area has 15 km of Jatropha hedges, which represents 15 tons of seeds or 3,000 liters of pure oil. The System also helps reduce poverty by: • Reducing crop losses caused by wandering livestock or wind damage • Increasing rainfall infiltration, resulting in less work/irrigation water needed for local gardens • Increasing soil fertility by use of presscake as fertilizer • Increasing use of inexpensive local resources rather than expensive external resources • Reducing disputes between farmers and livestock owners regarding crop damage, as well as among farmers themselves regarding the boundaries of their fields • Providing local jobs, lessening the need for local villagers to migrate to cities to find employment Erosion control and soil improvement Jatropha "living fences" not only control unwanted animal access to the fields; they also reduce wind erosion and, if planted parallel to slopes to fix small earth or stone dams, they help control water erosion. The plant's roots grow close to the ground surface, anchoring the soil like miniature dikes or earthen bunds. These dikes effectively slow surface runoff during intensive downpours, which are common, thus causing more water to penetrate into the soil and boosting harvests. The press cake, which remains after oil extraction by the expellers, is a very good organic fertilizer, with mineral composition comparable to that of chicken manure. This has great value for agriculture in the Sahelian countries, since soils there are rapidly depleted of humus and chemical fertilizers are very expensive. The Malian cotton-growing company, CMDT (Compagnie Malienne de Development Textile), uses Jatropha hedges to assure a program of improved fallow: the cotton fields are protected with Jatropha hedges to keep out cattle, while the fields are sown with legumes to improve soil fertility. Use others Potential Products Folk Remedies The extracts are used in folk remedies for their abortifacient, anodyne, antiseptic, cicatrizant, depurative, diuretic, emetic, laxative, norcotic, purgative, rubefacient, styptic and vermifuge 251
  7. 7. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME properties. It is a folk remedy for dropsy, dysentery, dyspepsia, eczema, erysipelas, fever, gonorrhea, inflammation, jaundice neuralgia, paralysis, parturition, pleurisy, pnemonia, rhematism, scabies, sores, syphilis, tetanus, tumors, ulcers and yellow fever. Plant Protection Pests and diseases Several pests and diseases have been reported for Jatropha curcas. The author in Senegal observed some pests and diseases. Jatropha curcas suffers the ecological conditions in Zimbabwe are probably not favorable and plants are stressed (Harris, pers. comm.). In other countries such as India, pests and diseases do not cause severe problems although millipedes can cause total loss of young seedlings. These seedlings are also susceptible to competition from weeds during their early development. Therefore weed control, either mechanical or with herbicides, is required during the establishment phase. The project in Nicaragua investigated the pest, diseases and weed control in Jatropha curcas (Foidl, pers. comm.). Collar rot may be the problem in beginning and can be controlled with 0.2% COC. Bio-Fuel vs Diesel Bio-diesel is a nontoxic, biodegradable 100% natural energy alternative to petroleum fuel. It is an environmentally friendly fuel. It can be produced from the non-edible oilseeds on wastelands. In India, about 30 million hectares of wasteland shall be planted for bio-diesel can completely replace the current use of fossil fuels to some extent. Jatropha is the one of the tree borne species having 35 - 40% of oil can be used for production of bio-diesel. The comparative approx analysis between Jatropha oil and Diesel are given in table. Table Specifications Jatropha Oil Diesel 0.92 0.82/0.84 240/110°C 50°C Carbon residue 0.64 0.15 less Cetane value 51.0 50.0 up 295°C 350°C 50.73 cs 2.7 cs.up 0.13% 1.2% less 9,470 k cal / kg 10,170 k cal / kg Pour point 8°C 10°C less Colour 4.0 4 less Specific gravity Flash Point Distillation point Kinematic viscosity Sulphur (%) Calorific value 252
  8. 8. International Journal of Advanced Research in Engineering and Technology (IJARET), ISSN 0976 – 6480(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6499(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, September – October (2013), © IAEME Current Strategies of Jatropha cultivation The use of common property lands for Jatropha plantations and implications for the poor Due to scarcity of agricultural land and the need for vast amount of land for cultivation of biofuel feedstock, biofuels crops are considered a threat to both food production and forests. The recent rise in price of corn in the US and the expansion of oil palm plantations at the expense of rainforests in Malaysia can be cited in support of such claims. As if in recognition of this fact and the fact that India has vast resources of marginal land also called wasteland, which are considered to provide little economic or ecological benefits, the national biofuel mission emphasizes cultivation of biofuel crops on such lands. However several researchers have contested the categorization of such lands as wastelands on the grounds that such lands are an integral part of the livelihood of rural poor. A majority of such wastelands are classified as common property resources (CPR). This implies that a group such as a village collectively owns such resources and membership in the group confers an individual the right to access the resource. Research on CPRs has revealed that such resources play a vital role in the lives of its users by supplying a wide variety of commodities like food, fuel wood, fodder, timber, thatching material for home roofing etc (Gundimeda, 2005, Ravindranath at el 1995). Gundimeda cites evidence from several studies (Beck at el 2010, Iyengar at el 2009, Jodha at el 2012) on CPRs in arid and semiarid regions of India that show: (1) CPRs contribute between 12 per cent and 25 per cent of the poor household income; (2) the poorer the households, the more important the contribution of CPRs; (3) CPRs contribute to rural equity because they are accessed more by the poor than by the rich. Therefore the composition of tree species planted on wastelands lands is very important as disregard for rural needs such as those above is likely to cause hardship to the poor and to conflicts with growers of biodiesel or other plantations on such lands. Jatropha has several drawbacks in this context. First, the leaves of Jatropha are not suitable for livestock i.e., not suitable as fodder. The situation with regard to the severe shortage of fodder for livestock has infact been deemed the “other food crisis”. In this context plantation of Jatropha on common lands, which are often grazing lands, is likely to worsen the fodder crisis. Second, Jatropha yields insignificant amount of wood per tree. A case study of a Gujarat village showed that the poor collect 70 per cent of their fuel and 55 per cent of their fodder requirements from CPRs (Chen, 1991). Thus policies, which promote crops that provide diverse benefits, would have much less adverse impact on the rural poor. Recommendations for alternative strategies for biofuel production In light of the above discussion some alternative options for production of liquid biofuels and for regenertion of wastelands such as, alternative crops: Short duration, multipurpose biofuel crops on private farmlands. In comparison with wastelands, India’s netcropped area is in the vicinity of 150 million hectares out of which less than 30% is irrigated while the rest is rainfed (Chen, 1991) . Farmers in rainfed lands are amongst the most economically distressed which is largely due to scarcity of water and their inability to raise higher value crops like rice, wheat, sugarcane, edible oils etc. The cultivation of biofuel crops that are both commercially valuable and not water intensive can provide new opportunities for raising rural income without having an adverse impact on national food production or on the landless poor who depend on common lands. While Jatropha or Pongamia are suitable crops, the long maturation phase and the lack of experience are major barriers for adoption. But annual crops like Sweet Sorghum and Castor, which are already being cultivated, and which can be used to produce ethanol and biodiesel are better candidates. Such annual crops have other advantages over perennial crops such as allowing the farmers to practice crop rotation, the flexibility to shift to more profitable crops depending on market conditions etc. 253
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