Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biofuel potential of the humble weed

16.04.2008
Biofuels have come under criticism lately for competing with the world food production.

The Jathropha curcas is a weed that does not compete with food production yet yields fuel and heals wounds. UNIMAS is currently working on developing its potential as the alternative plant for biofuels production.

The European Union, in one of its directive, have proposed an action plan aiming at increasing the share of biofuels to more than 20% of European petrol and diesel consumption by 2020.

While the US are producing corn for biofuels, the use of edible plant such as sugars and corns, has been criticised by many as part of the contributing factors to the shortage of their supply in the world's food market. Also, as this requires fertile agricultural land, it further reduces the land allocated for food crops cultivation.

Physic nut (Jathropha curcas) is a type of weed and is inedible. Furthermore, it grows freely on areas deemed unsuitable for farming, including non-arable, marginal and waste land; and therefore, does not compete with vital crops for good agricultural land.

This weed was introduced to Malaysia in the 1940s when the Japanese used it as fuel for their combat vehicles, and the leaves used to heal the wounds of their wounded soldiers.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, through the Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, is currently working on a project with a local commercial company to explore the commercial viability of physic nuts as the alternative plants for large scale production of biofuels in the State of Sarawak, Malaysia.

The research areas include identification of high yield plant clones through selection and cross-breeding, effect of soil conditions (in various divisions within Sarawak) on its growth and production rates, development of tissue culture and micropropagation technique for mass propagation of the selected clones, and the pharmaceutical potential of this plants.

Once mature, the physic nut tree can continue to produce seeds for the next 35-40 years. Previous studies has shown that the oil can be combusted without being refined (thus cutting on the production process), and burn with clear, smoke free flame; and it has been tested as fuel for simple diesel engine.

Apart from its biofuel potential, it also produces natural chemical compounds believed to have anti-cancers properties. It is traditionally used as an external application for skin diseases and rheumatism, and for sores on domestic livestock. The oil is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and can be used as organic manure.

Resni Mona | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com
http://www.unimas.my

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>