Chapter 2 Jatropha curcas

Nicolas Carels
  • January 2009, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/s0065-2296(08)00802-1

A review on Jatropha curcas

What is it about?

This text presents a review on the features and technological achievements obtained with J. curcas until 2009. This review covers the (i) agronomy, (ii) oil production, (iii) alkyl ester production, (iv) biofuel features, (v) toxicity, (vi) plant breeding, and (vii) crop expansion of J. curcas.

Why is it important?

Since the ratification of the Kyoto protocol, a significant effort has been made worldwide to boost biofuels with the expectation of a positive contribution to renewable fuel and greenhouse gas reduction. The initial recommendations were generally not acted upon except in some particular cases, such as Brazil and Vietnam. The positive contribution of first generation biofuels has been challenged because they rely on limited arable land availability, they need substantial energy inputs, and they compete with wildlife and food crops. However, bioethanol and biodiesel proved their compatibility with existing technologies and prepared the transition to second and third generation biofuels.


Nicolas Carels (Author)
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

Countries such as Europe, with adverse climatic conditions and limited availability of arable land and crop options, are already investigating technologies for cellulosic ethanol and microdiesel. Developing countries, on the other hand, often have extended areas of land that are not usable for agriculture with currently available crops. J. curcas L. proved to be an opportunistic crop in tropical areas in these unfavorable environments.

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The following have contributed to this page: Nicolas Carels