About Jatropha Curcas
Jatropha Curcas is a non edible oil crop predominately used to produce bio-diesel.
In addition to bio-diesel production, the by-product of Jatropha Curcas' trans-esterification process can be used to make a wide range of products including high quality paper, energy pellets, soap, cosmetics, toothpaste, embalming fluid, pipe joint cement, cough medicine and as a moistening agent in tobacco.
The Jatropha Curcas seed cake which is the waste by-product of the bio-diesel trans-esterification process can be used as a rich organic fertilizer.
Jatropha Curcas grows best on well drained soils (pref PH 6-9) with good aeration but is well adapted to marginal soils with low nutrient content.
Jatropha Curcas grows well with more than 600mm rainfall per year and it can withstand long periods of drought. The plant sheds its leaves during a prolonged dry season.
Jatropha Curcas prefers temperatures averaging 20-28 degrees Celsius (68-85 degrees Farenheit). It can, however, withstand a very light frost which causes it to lose all its leaves and may produce a sharp decline in seed yield.
One tonne of Jatropha Curcas seeds will produce up to 600 litres of bio-diesel with proper management.
Recommended planting rate of Jatropha Curcas is 3,030 plants per hectare (2.5 acres)
Mechanical harvesting and simultaneous pruning is now available for this crop.
Jatropha Curcas seeds can produce 60% oil content depending on:
- Production capacity (genetics) of the plants
- Application of advanced pruning techniques
- Improved pollination results from establishment of bee colonies
- The moisture level of the soil
- The nutrient level of the soil
- Application of foliar fertilizer 30 days before harvest
- Stage of ripening at harvest
- Use of high quality processing equipment
- Proccessing completed within 24 hours of harvest
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