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 New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>