Monday, April 23, 2007

Jatropha Oil

The whole world is concerned about the state of the global environment, especially about global warming. We have already seen the effects of global warming in some of these killer storms, like Huricane Katrina in USA and Tsunami in Asia; desertification and the change of the pattern of weather and climatic condition. So these are some of the reasons why there has been this general call by environmental experts to nations to cut down their emission of green house gasses; because fossil oil, nuclear and deforestation contribute more than 50% of the gasses that causes global warming.

So, every country is trying to get an alternative, clean and environmental friendly energy to be used for the generation of electricity, industrial heating and then for transportation. And that is what brought us to this renewable energy.

Jatropha oil is an important product from the plant for meeting the cooking and lighting needs of the rural population, boiler fuel for industrial purposes or as a viable substitute for diesel. Substitution of firewood by plant oil for household cooking in rural areas will not only alleviate the problems of deforestation but also improve the health of rural women who are subjected to the indoor smoke pollution from cooking by inefficient fuel and stoves in poorly ventilated space. Jatropha oil performs very satisfactorily when burnt using a conventional (paraffin) wick after some simple design changes in the physical configuration of the lamp.

About one-third of the energy in the fruit of Jatropha can be extracted as an oil that has a similar energy value to diesel fuel. Jatropha oil can be used directly in diesel engines added to diesel fuel as an extender or trans-esterification to a bio-diesel fuel. In theory, a diesel substitute can be produced from locally grown Jatropha plants, thus providing these areas with the possibility of becoming self sufficient.

Considering the high and ever increasing demand for oil and other petroleum products, do you think that Nigeria has a large deposit of this tree to be processed to meet the demand for oil?

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