• 2 minutes California to ban gasoline for lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, off road equipment, etc.
  • 6 minutes China and India are both needing more coal and prices are now extremely high. They need maximum fossil fuel.
  • 11 minutes Europeans and Americans are beginning to see the results of depending on renewables.
  • 5 mins GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 18 hours The Climate Scare Stories Began With Far Left Ideology Per GreenPeace Co-Founder
  • 4 hours Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav
  • 19 hours Putin and Xi have decided not to attend the Climate Summit in Glasgow
  • 1 day Biden Sets Target Of 50% EV Share In U.S. Car Sales In 2030
  • 4 hours US intel warns China could dominate advanced technologies By NOMAAN MERCHANT October 22, 2021
  • 22 hours "The Hidden Story About California's Container Ship Backlog" via Corbett Report
  • 4 days "A Very Predictable Global Energy Crisis" by Irina Slav --- MUST READ
  • 15 hours Storage of gas cylinders
  • 3 days Two Good and Plausible Ideas about Saving Water and Redirecting it to Where it is Needed.
Trump’s Big Biofuel Package Has No Teeth

Trump’s Big Biofuel Package Has No Teeth

The Trump administration has just…

The Uncomfortable Truth About Biofuel

The Uncomfortable Truth About Biofuel

Though biofuel mandates have spread…

SciDev SciDev

SciDev SciDev

SciDev.Net – the Science and Development Network – is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the…

More Info

Premium Content

Wonder Crop: Jatropha Sequesters Carbon and Restores Degraded Land

Large-scale cultivation of Jatropha – known as a potential source of biofuel – can improve the soil quality of degraded lands and address climate change, says a new study.

Jatropha curcas seeds yield oil that can be processed into biodiesel, but scientists at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, have found that Jatropha plantations can also sequester carbon in abundant quantities.

The findings,  reported in October in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, may reignite the 'fuel-versus-food' debate where critics argue that Jatropha cultivation diverts lands that could be used to grow food crops and affect food security.

ICRISAT scientists, led by Suhas Wani, assistant research programme director, studied Jatropha plantations in six different locations in India and measured the amount of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas – they removed. 

Jatropha plantations older than four years added as much as 1,450 kilograms of organic carbon per hectare per year through leaf fall, pruned twigs and residue after removal of oil, the study said.

Also, by increasing organic carbon in soils and live root activity Jatropha plants encouraged growth of  the soil's microbe population – a key indicator of soil health.

Nutrient availability also improved through recycling of the biomass back into the soil. Nitrogen increased by 85 kilograms per hectare, potassium by 44 kilograms, and phosphorus by eight kilograms.

Previous experience has shown that commercial farming of Jatropha is fraught with problems, including non-availability of quality seeds and the need for inputs such as irrigation and fertilisers.

At the current productivity levels of 1–1.5 tonnes of oilseeds per hectare, commercial Jatropha cultivation for producing biodiesel is not as economically viable as other crops, Wani said. Hence, it is better used for restoring degraded lands, he said.

"Our emphasis is on reducing the burden of degraded lands and problems such as runoff, siltation and receding groundwater. If we could rehabilitate degraded lands, it may lead to improved carbon sequestration, soil fertility and greening," Wani told SciDev.Net.

Vijay Gour, associate professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University, Jabalpur, says the initial hype over Jatropha resulted in several multinational companies investing in large plantations for oil production without proper planning.

More studies, as well as crop improvement through such methods as genetic manipulation, are needed before Jatropha can become a viable source of biofuel, Gour told SciDev.Net.

By. Meha Prakash


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • Ulrich Riemann on October 05 2012 said:
    As an active breeder of advanced Jatropha planting material I am excited by this article and of course the underlying study. Positive news about Jatropha is rare these days, unfortunately.

    As breeders we are developing non-toxic, high yielding Jatropha hybrids which will completely change the situation described in the report. Oil yields per ha will at least double in the short term and growing much more over a decade or so. The huge advantage of non-toxic plants will be the opportunity to use the seed meal as a high protein animal feed comparable to soy meal. More about Jatropha breeding in my blog: jatropha.x10.bz

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News