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.
New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology
Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | Universität Zürich
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy