March 30, 2010
Subscribe to RSS Feed
GM may make diesel fuel from weeds
Detroit, Michigan – General Motors has announced a five-year partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help develop the jatropha plant, traditionally considered a weed, into an oil that can be refined into biodiesel.
The project goal is to demonstrate that jatropha can produce significant quantities of oil for biodiesel conversion...
read more at
1987 Mercedes 300D - 2 tank VO
So they've figured out what Asia has known for a long while now.Good for them. Now, brilliant as government is, just you watch that they don't use prime agricultural land to plant Jathropa on instead of arid lands that are good for nothing where Jathropa thrives, and then the anti eco bunch will whine that good farm land is being used up for fuel.
** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.
Jatropa has been outlawed here. Next door Zambia is planting large tracts of land under Jatropha. I think China is stirring the pot there.
Land Cruiser 4.2tdi, Figo 1.4tdci,
1992 F350 w/Cummins
2004 F250 w/Edge Platinum
both on B100
Another failing biofuel "miracle"
By Dennis T. Avery
web posted February 22, 2010
Now, comes word of another failing biofuel "miracle." Thousands of farmers in the developing world were told that biofuel from an oily tree fruit, jatropha, could be grown on marginal land. Thus it could produce massive amounts of renewable fuels without competing with food crops.
Now it turns out the experts were wrong about jatropha growing well on marginal land. Jatropha will grow on marginal land, but it needs good land to produce economically viable yields. Indian farmers, for example, find the forecast yields of 2–5 tons per hectare are actually less than 2 tons.
Meanwhile, millions of jatropha trees are being grown instead of food on farms from Ghana and Guatemala to Mozambique and India. EU companies have reportedly leased 5 million hectares of land for biofuel production, much of it in Africa, where it will compete with already-inadequate food production and threaten unique wildlife.
This discussion in the "USA biodiesel" section has several folks with large tracts of land in Mexico interested in jatropha growing, been in the area east of Porta Pinasco, pretty barren sandy desert and close to the gulf of Mexico so gets adequate rain, jatropha might grow ok there. I am starting a couple bushes here in Arizona, near Tucson, to see if it survives, may not survive due to a few light frosts over the winter and 5-6 month long period without any rain of any kind, also interested to see if rabbits actually WON'T eat the small plants.
I did a bit of web searching and found that the Jatropha gene has recently been mapped, along with palm oil, shouldn't be long before they get both modified. Biggest problem for small plots seems to be the manual harvesting, big mechanical harvisters are available but they are the size of combines and likely cost the same. The annual 150-175 gallon/acre yield of oil sort of makes it hardly worth the trouble for a small plot. I am interested to see if the seeds will work as fuel for a corn stove?
I may be a bit quick to use phrase "law", but Dep Of Agricultute is turning down all requests for Jatropha seed import. Viewed as an alien invasive plant. The past few years we have seen big gov drives to eradicate alien plants creating jobs, chopping trees in odd places is you ask me The flip side here on job creation is Jatropha and a target to get a % bio into the domestic fuel supply. On the other side GOV is doing pretty well with SASOL, massive local oil parastall that turns large coal reservers into fuel.
Land Cruiser 4.2tdi, Figo 1.4tdci,
GM is partnering with the government? Oh, wait, the government owns GM. Nevermind.
I think the problem with Jatropha is that it has all the elements of an invasive weed. Big seed producer, grows in a variety of areas from very moist to essentially arid conditions. Tap Roots.
Many varieties are also toxic (although non-toxic varieties exist).
A lack of cold-tolerance would prevent spreading in the North.
The problem with jatropha is that it can't produce economically viable yields without irrigation, and the countries that want to produce it for export need the irrigation for food to feed their people. Of course, starving the population to provide export revenue to those in power is nothing new in the 3rd world.
|Powered by Social Strata|