Is Jatropha Really A Solution For Fuel Instead of Food Predicament of Biofuels?

April 16, 2008 | 1 Comment

Following on from the highly successful JatrophaWorld 2008 in Jakarta Indonesia last January, the world of Jatropha will meet in Miami, Florida, USA, June 9 -11 this year. The conference will address many of the remaining Myths associated with the growing and use of Jatropha. Not least of the myths to be proven wrong, is the belief that growing Biofuels for alternative energy must take away from the supply of food.

JatrophaWorld MiamiMiami, FL, April 16, 2008 — The second JatrophaWorld 2008 conference will be held in Miami, Florida, U.S. on June 9-11, 2008. The conference will gather together the major authorities on the growing and harvesting of jatropha as an alternative energy source as well as the financing, genetics and agronomy of jatropha. The experts at the conference will provide answers to the eleven major myths concerning the jatropha industry. Delegates will also be able to network and develop new and potentially vital business relationships during the conference.

JatrophaWorld Jakarta in January 2008 was a huge success with over 350 delegates from more than 40 countries. JatrophaWorld Miami will capitalize on the progress made in Jakarta and will emphasize the production of jatropha as an alternative energy source in the Americas.

Over the two main days of the JatrophaWorld 2008 conference, speakers will debunk a list of 11 major myths concerning growing jatropha, jatropha seed’s use as a feedstock for biodiesel, and jatropha refining. The myths include:

  • It is impossible to attract investments for Jatropha seed oil Projects,
  • It is expensive and difficult to harvest Jatropha,
  • It is impossible to get reliable economic and project analysis by investors, and
  • There are no opportunities to meet the right global Jatropha industry players.

Some of the over 23 major speakers talk about their papers:

  • “Based upon feasibility studies and test plots operated in India, Mexico and the US, I will be making comparisons and recommendations for the future development of jatropha in the U.S.,” said Russell Teall of Biodiesel Industries, Inc. “I’ll also discuss the development of cold weather tolerant jatropha.”
  • Luis Rodolfo Montes Osorio, Plant Breeding Department, Wageningen University said, “I will discuss the Global Jatropha curcas Evaluation Project (GJEP) which comprises identification and widening the genetic base of J. curcas for breeding purposes, and is aimed at an increased and reliable biofuel production for different production systems of J. curcas.”
  • Jon McLea, Director, Agricultural Development, Imperium Renewables said, “I will discuss all the important agronomic criteria related to plantation site selection. And I will address the process of evaluating the land suitability of the project area and those parameters that need to be considered during the exercise.”

For those not up to speed with the jatropha industry, there will be a one day workshop entitled ‘A-Z of Jatropha curcas L.’ by Dr. ir. Raymond Jongschaap of the Global Jatropha Evaluation Program at the Wageningen University and Research Centre. This essential workshop will give newcomers a thorough introduction to the complete Jatropha value chain, so that they too can contribute and participate actively in JatrophaWorld 2008, and the Jatropha industry.

The third day of JatrophaWorld 2008 is devoted to a field trip firstly to ECHO’s Global Farm with its diverse plantings of “underutilized” crops, including 3½ to 4 year-old jatropha plants, which are the first fully mature grove of Jatropha in Florida. And secondly to Dream Fuels Ltd.’s Jatropha Nursery where Jatropha growing methods will be demonstrated and discussed. There will also be a question and answer session with research staff.

Those wanting to keep up with the rapidly expanding jatropha alternative energy industry need to visit to find out more about JatrophaWorld 2008 and how to register for the conference, field trip and workshop.

About Centre for Management Technology
CMTCMT is dedicated to the provision of the latest global technology and business information in the chemical industry through high profile conferences focusing on renewable, liquid energy sources. CMT has organized industry specific conferences on Liquid Natural Gas, and LPG, ground breaking summit on technologies like Coal to Liquids, Gas to Liquids, and Bio-mass to Liquid, and alternative energy or future fuels forums like Biodiesel, Biofuels and Ethanol. This has established CMT as the market leader in promoting this nascent industry as an alternative global powerhouse.

About JatrophaWorld 2008[JatrophaWorld 2008 Miami] is a showcase of all the latest trends and shifts occurring in the Jatropha value chain, bringing together on a single platform, the best expertise to discuss and analyze the present and future dynamics of Jatropha from a technological and socio-economic angle.


Divya Sangam
Phone: (65)63469140

Demand for Jatropha Biodiesel All Set to Grow as Diesel Demand Stays Strong

April 6, 2008 | 1 Comment

With Diesel prices’ fluctuating in wallet bursting ranges and petroleum products tainted in many minds due to its association with violence in the Middle East, the demand for Biodiesel and feedstocks like Jatropha is all set to boom in the US.

Right now, the Biodiesel blends are pricier than pure petroleum diesel, but with the prices of diesel going on an upward trend, this might no longer be the case. Diesel has followed the petroleum surge, ending at $3.82 a galleon last week based on US government data.

fluctuating diesel prices present challengesRising diesel prices continue to put pressure on consumers and businesses that depend on the fuel, including bulk transportation and power generation.

All in all, businesses are looking for the better alternative, the cheaper alternative, and at the end of the day, the greener alternative. The pressure on the world’s largest energy economy to cut down emissions is now much stronger, and climate change has become one of the most important agenda in the 2008 US Presidential Elections.

America is also determined to reduce their dependence on oil imports from the Middle East, and many entrepreneurs believe that Biodiesel might be the answer to their fuel needs.

However, Biodiesel is not going to go main-stream in the US for some time.

According to a report by The Seattle Times, between 3 percent and 4 percent of the US registered vehicles are diesel well below the 49 percent in Europe, where higher gasoline prices long ago made diesel’s 30-40 percent greater fuel efficiency appealing.

Despite the relatively low domestic demand for Diesel, the US simply isn’t capable of replacing petroleum diesel at current demand levels with homegrown soybean based Biodiesel. “We don’t have the acreage, the production capacity,” said Peter Murchie at the Environmental Protection Agency in his statement to the Seattle Times.

In the mean time, the expanding interest and demand for Biodiesel means that more want a share of this very profitable pie. States like Washington and Oregon have also expressed interest in expanding their domestic Biodiesel production capabilities.

Matt Steuerwalt, energy aide to Seattle Gov. Christine Gregoire, had issued the following statement with regards to the state’s policy towards Biodiesel: “We’re trying to build a whole industry in this state, from growing to crushing to refining to using,” said. Right now Seattle is using Biodiesel for at least some of their public transit and service vehicles.

Not surprisingly however, there have been major supply problems. The Seattle Metro Transit network often faces problems with supply.

Shortage shortages may no longer bar the path to widespread commercialization of Biodiesel. With over 171 Biodiesel producing plants in the US, shortages shouldn’t be a problem, according to the National Biodiesel Board.

That said, you might remember that in one of our previous posts, we had mentioned that many Biodiesel plants across the US are choosing not to manufacture because they are unable to get enough feedstocks, or that the feedstocks are too expensive, making the per gallon cost of production of Biodiesel very high.
The demand for Biodiesel in America is going to expand if the oil markets continue in their upwards price trend is a fact written in stone.

America needs another viable source of Biodiesel that is inexpensive, not already a source of food and vulnerable to jelling at low temperatures. Soy oil, the source of about 90 percent of U.S. Biodiesel fails on all three counts.

Currently, Jatropha ranks amongst the most inexpensive of all Biodiesel feedstock. The seed also has one of the highest oil yields amongst the feedstocks, and is second only to Palm. Jatropha is not a food crop and does not compete with food crops for arable land. Studies have also shown that Jatropha oil has a very low gelling point in comparison to Soy oil.

All these positives about Jatropha qualify it as a far more viable feedstock for Biodiesel than soy.

However Jatropha’s widespread use is still in the future, as America’s farming communities have not really explored the potential for the commercial cultivation of Jatropha. That said, more and more American planters and research institutions are starting to study the possibility of planting Jatropha in degraded soils in California, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada and Phoenix, possibly creating an agricultural revival in these states and boosting local economies.

With the boom in domestic diesel demand and Biodiesel production outfits, the demand and profile of Jatropha in the US is poised to rise sharply.

What do you think? Is the era of Soy ending? Will 2nd Generation Biodiesel feedstocks like Jatropha meet the US diesel demand? Make your voice heard on this issue. Drop us your comments, or better yet, tell it to us in person at JatrophaWorld 2008 Miami.