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Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research
Vol. 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: F02B13/10

Introduction                                                          aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene), PAHs and nitro-
   For more than two centuries, the world’s energy                    PAHs. Although diesel engine produces lesser amount
supply has relied heavily on non-renewable crude oil                  of CO and total hydrocarbon compounds (THC) than
derived liquid fuels, out of which 90 percent is                      spark ignition (SI) engine, it forms large quantities of
estimated to be consumed for energy generation and                    fine particulate matter (PM). Diesel particles mainly
transportation. Known crude oil reserves are                          consist of carbonaceous material, soluble organic
estimated to be depleted in less than 50 years at the                 fraction (SOF), sulfates and traces of metals. Some
present rate of consumption1. India, like most of the                 constituents of SOF (PAHs and nitro-PAHs) are
developing countries, is highly dependent on imported                 mutagenic and/or carcinogenic6. Since diesel engines
crude oil. India has imported about 82 million tons of                of buses and trucks exhaust a huge amount of NOx
crude oil (70% of its requirement) and petroleum                      and particulates, a clean alternative fuel is highly
products during 2003–2004 causing a heavy burden                      demanded. Biodiesel derived from vegetable oil
on foreign exchange. The demand of crude oil has                      (VOs) attracts attention as a promising one to be
increased 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 engines
on 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 higher
important issue. Diesel engines have been widely
                                                                      than the diesel fuel. Therefore, use of vegetable oil in
used as power of engineering machinery, automobile,
                                                                      direct injection diesel engines creates poor fuel
and shipping equipment for its excellent drivability
                                                                      atomization, incomplete combustion, carbon deposition
and thermal efficiency3. Diesel fuels, in India are used
                                                                      on the injector, and fuel build up in the lubricant oils
in heavy trucks, city transport buses, locomotives,
                                                                      resulting in serious engine fouling. VOs viscosity can be
electric 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 is
roughly five times that of gasoline5.                                    Biodiesel (fatty acid methyl esters), which is
   Diesel emission contains carcinogenic components,                  produced by transesterification of triglycerides with
such 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-fueled
E-mail: naveenkumardce@rediffmail.com                                 engines.
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 world's 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 Rig
atmospheric levels of CO2, a greenhouse gas. It can be                      Vedic era. Other edible oil plants introduced later on
domestically 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-edible
relative to conventional diesel fuel, its combustion                        oil category, there are at least 150 species mainly
products have reduced levels of particulates, CO2,                          trees or shrubs yielding oils that are not consumed
SO2, HCs, soot and, under some conditions, NOx9.                            directly by man or animal. The main outlet for these
Large harvests of traditional crops, low farm prices,                       oils in India is soap making and Ayurvedic medicines.
dependence of foreign energy sources and
environmental problems have increased interest in                              In Indian context, the important issue is to grow
energy generated from plant sources such as                                 oilseed trees. The wastelands (70 million ha) in the
biodiesel. The major benefit of biodiesel production is                     country can be made to become green and yield oil
that 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 in
and every corner of the globe. Each country can                             the back yards all over the nation will improve the
proceed in the generation of particular oil, depending                      availability of these oil seeds. Further local growth
upon the climate and economy.                                               associated in crushing, and marketing may encourage
                                                                            the entrepreneurs to start small industries to produce
Indian 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 opportunities
from a mere 11 million tons during 1986-87, India                           locally. This is one of the factors that may contribute
attained an all-time record oilseed production of 25                        to the concept of ‘Sustainable Rural Areas’ where
million 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 being
lowest among all other countries (Table 2). India                           extracted from plants like saffola, sunflower, soybean,
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 the
etc, which are essentially edible in India. In India,      rainy season and as the plants are not very tall. Seeds
non-edible seed crops like Jatropha curcus (ratanjot,      contain non-edible oil (35%); oil yield per hectare is
jatropha), Pongamia pinnata (karanj) and Madhuca           among the highest of tree borne oil seeds. Being rich
indica (mahua) can provide oil, which can be               in nitrogen, the seed cake is an excellent source of
developed as biodiesel depending on site-specific          plant nutrients. Jatropha is a close relative to the
requirements13. 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 control
Jatropha (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 is
widely cultivated in the tropics as a living fence14. It   Establishment
is 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 without
central (taproot) and four peripheral. Cuttings, when      pretreatment. If this is the case, it is not recommended
planted, do not form a taproot. Plant is monoecious        to remove the seed coat before sowing. Although it
and flowers are unisexual. Pollination is by insects.      speeds up germination, there is a risk of getting
Seeds 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 epigean
other (Fig. 2). Jatropha grows over a wide range of        (cotyledons emerge above ground). Soon after the
arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. It grows well      first leaves have formed, the cotyledons wither and
in shallow soils and is commonly found growing in          fall off. In the nursery, seeds can be sown in
gravel, sandy and clayey soils16.                          germination beds or in containers. Although the
886                                   J SCI IND RES VOL 64 NOVEMBER 2005




                                            Fig. 2—Uses of Jatropha plant

seedlings grow very fast, they should stay in the           or hitting and shaking the branches till the fruits break
nursery for 3 months until they are 30-40 cm tall. By       off. Seeds collected from live fences can normally be
then, the plants have developed their repellant smell       reached by hand. For taller trees, it is possible to
and will not be browsed by animals19. The trees are         collect the fruits in a small bag that is attached to a
deciduous, occur during the wet season and two              stick. In Costa Rica, a tree produces about 30 kg fruits
flowering 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 open
seeds mature about three months after flowering.            bags to the processing site and dried until all the fruits
Early growth is fast and with good rainfall conditions      have opened. Sun drying has a negative effect on seed
nursery 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 the
season. The flowers are pollinated by insects               fruits and cleaned. The seeds are orthodox and should
especially honey bees.                                      be dried to low moisture content (5-7%) and stored in
                                                            airtight containers. At room temperature, seeds can
Harvest                                                     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 expected
Collection is best done by picking fruits from the tree     to store for as long as most orthodox species.
KUMAR & SHARMA: JATROPHA CURCAS-A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL                                  887




                                            Fig. 3—Conversion of Jatropha seeds into biodiesel

Table 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
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 farmers
utilized in the transportation and oil based captive                and rural entrepreneurs so that they could learn the
power production. India’s target is to achieve                      latest technology and agro-practice related to Jatropha
20 percent substitution of HSD by biodiesel by 2012                 cultivation and biodiesel production.
beginning with 5 percent in 2006-07. HSD demand by
the end of 11th Plan (2011-12) is estimated to be                   References
66.9 million tons requiring 13.38 million tons of                    1 Sheehan J, Cambreco V, Duffield J, Garboski M & Shapouri
biodiesel, 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: An
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production in world is increasing and production has                   cetane number improver on heat release rate and emissions
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rural entrepreneurs to improve their economic                          Delhi) 2004.
                                                                     6 Baldassarri L T, Battistelli C L, Conti L, Crebelli R, Berardis
condition through large scale cultivation of this plant
                                                                       B D, Iamiceli A L, Gambino M & Iannaccone S, Emission
on degraded land and on the hedges of their fields. It                 comparison of urban bus engine fueled with diesel oil and
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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 using
Combination 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 oil
friendly 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 biodiesel
without 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 (The
which would eventually be sufficient to replace                        Tribune, Chandigarh) 13 August 2001.
KUMAR & SHARMA: JATROPHA CURCAS-A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL                                     889

11 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
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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
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                                                                    Interaction with the Course Participants of National Defence
14 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.

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Jatropha Curcas Oil: A Sustainable Source for Production of Biobiesel

  • 1. Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research Vol. 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: F02B13/10 Introduction aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene), PAHs and nitro- For more than two centuries, the world’s energy PAHs. Although diesel engine produces lesser amount supply has relied heavily on non-renewable crude oil of CO and total hydrocarbon compounds (THC) than derived liquid fuels, out of which 90 percent is spark ignition (SI) engine, it forms large quantities of estimated to be consumed for energy generation and fine particulate matter (PM). Diesel particles mainly transportation. Known crude oil reserves are consist of carbonaceous material, soluble organic estimated to be depleted in less than 50 years at the fraction (SOF), sulfates and traces of metals. Some present rate of consumption1. India, like most of the constituents of SOF (PAHs and nitro-PAHs) are developing countries, is highly dependent on imported mutagenic and/or carcinogenic6. Since diesel engines crude oil. India has imported about 82 million tons of of buses and trucks exhaust a huge amount of NOx crude oil (70% of its requirement) and petroleum and particulates, a clean alternative fuel is highly products during 2003–2004 causing a heavy burden demanded. Biodiesel derived from vegetable oil on foreign exchange. The demand of crude oil has (VOs) attracts attention as a promising one to be increased 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 engines on 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 higher important issue. Diesel engines have been widely than the diesel fuel. Therefore, use of vegetable oil in used as power of engineering machinery, automobile, direct injection diesel engines creates poor fuel and shipping equipment for its excellent drivability atomization, incomplete combustion, carbon deposition and thermal efficiency3. Diesel fuels, in India are used on the injector, and fuel build up in the lubricant oils in heavy trucks, city transport buses, locomotives, resulting in serious engine fouling. VOs viscosity can be electric 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 is roughly five times that of gasoline5. Biodiesel (fatty acid methyl esters), which is Diesel emission contains carcinogenic components, produced by transesterification of triglycerides with such 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-fueled E-mail: naveenkumardce@rediffmail.com engines.
  • 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 world's 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 Rig atmospheric levels of CO2, a greenhouse gas. It can be Vedic era. Other edible oil plants introduced later on domestically 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-edible relative to conventional diesel fuel, its combustion oil category, there are at least 150 species mainly products have reduced levels of particulates, CO2, trees or shrubs yielding oils that are not consumed SO2, HCs, soot and, under some conditions, NOx9. directly by man or animal. The main outlet for these Large harvests of traditional crops, low farm prices, oils in India is soap making and Ayurvedic medicines. dependence of foreign energy sources and environmental problems have increased interest in In Indian context, the important issue is to grow energy generated from plant sources such as oilseed trees. The wastelands (70 million ha) in the biodiesel. The major benefit of biodiesel production is country can be made to become green and yield oil that 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 in and every corner of the globe. Each country can the back yards all over the nation will improve the proceed in the generation of particular oil, depending availability of these oil seeds. Further local growth upon the climate and economy. associated in crushing, and marketing may encourage the entrepreneurs to start small industries to produce Indian 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 opportunities from a mere 11 million tons during 1986-87, India locally. This is one of the factors that may contribute attained an all-time record oilseed production of 25 to the concept of ‘Sustainable Rural Areas’ where million 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 being lowest among all other countries (Table 2). India extracted from plants like saffola, sunflower, soybean,
  • 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 the etc, which are essentially edible in India. In India, rainy season and as the plants are not very tall. Seeds non-edible seed crops like Jatropha curcus (ratanjot, contain non-edible oil (35%); oil yield per hectare is jatropha), Pongamia pinnata (karanj) and Madhuca among the highest of tree borne oil seeds. Being rich indica (mahua) can provide oil, which can be in nitrogen, the seed cake is an excellent source of developed as biodiesel depending on site-specific plant nutrients. Jatropha is a close relative to the requirements13. 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 control Jatropha (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 is widely cultivated in the tropics as a living fence14. It Establishment is 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 without central (taproot) and four peripheral. Cuttings, when pretreatment. If this is the case, it is not recommended planted, do not form a taproot. Plant is monoecious to remove the seed coat before sowing. Although it and flowers are unisexual. Pollination is by insects. speeds up germination, there is a risk of getting Seeds 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 epigean other (Fig. 2). Jatropha grows over a wide range of (cotyledons emerge above ground). Soon after the arid and semi-arid climatic conditions. It grows well first leaves have formed, the cotyledons wither and in shallow soils and is commonly found growing in fall off. In the nursery, seeds can be sown in gravel, sandy and clayey soils16. germination beds or in containers. Although the
  • 4. 886 J SCI IND RES VOL 64 NOVEMBER 2005 Fig. 2—Uses of Jatropha plant seedlings grow very fast, they should stay in the or hitting and shaking the branches till the fruits break nursery for 3 months until they are 30-40 cm tall. By off. Seeds collected from live fences can normally be then, the plants have developed their repellant smell reached by hand. For taller trees, it is possible to and will not be browsed by animals19. The trees are collect the fruits in a small bag that is attached to a deciduous, occur during the wet season and two stick. In Costa Rica, a tree produces about 30 kg fruits flowering 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 open seeds mature about three months after flowering. bags to the processing site and dried until all the fruits Early growth is fast and with good rainfall conditions have opened. Sun drying has a negative effect on seed nursery 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 the season. The flowers are pollinated by insects fruits and cleaned. The seeds are orthodox and should especially honey bees. be dried to low moisture content (5-7%) and stored in airtight containers. At room temperature, seeds can Harvest 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 expected Collection is best done by picking fruits from the tree to store for as long as most orthodox species.
  • 5. KUMAR & SHARMA: JATROPHA CURCAS-A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL 887 Fig. 3—Conversion of Jatropha seeds into biodiesel Table 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. 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 farmers utilized in the transportation and oil based captive and rural entrepreneurs so that they could learn the power production. India’s target is to achieve latest technology and agro-practice related to Jatropha 20 percent substitution of HSD by biodiesel by 2012 cultivation and biodiesel production. beginning with 5 percent in 2006-07. HSD demand by the end of 11th Plan (2011-12) is estimated to be References 66.9 million tons requiring 13.38 million tons of 1 Sheehan J, Cambreco V, Duffield J, Garboski M & Shapouri biodiesel, 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: An employment 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 of production 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 blend increased 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, New rural entrepreneurs to improve their economic Delhi) 2004. 6 Baldassarri L T, Battistelli C L, Conti L, Crebelli R, Berardis condition through large scale cultivation of this plant B D, Iamiceli A L, Gambino M & Iannaccone S, Emission on degraded land and on the hedges of their fields. It comparison of urban bus engine fueled with diesel oil and is 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 using Combination 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 oil friendly 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 biodiesel without 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 (The which would eventually be sufficient to replace Tribune, Chandigarh) 13 August 2001.
  • 7. KUMAR & SHARMA: JATROPHA CURCAS-A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE FOR PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL 889 11 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 Defence 14 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.