The jatropha plant’s flowering bush has long been used as live fencing in dry regions around the world but now scientists have found a more lucrative purpose for the nuts from these plants. The nuts are more than 30 percent oil, which burns with a clear flame, producing a fraction of the emissions of traditional diesel.Thailand hopes to en cash on the same. As a bonus, the oil can be used in simple diesel engines without refining, just by mixing it with fuel
Phichai Tinsuntisook, a businessman who heads the Renewable Energy Industry Club said:
Jatropha oil can go directly into a tractor, while direct use of palm oil will harm the engine. The energy crisis will become a bigger and bigger problem in the future, and jatropha is the alternative choice. The country can save money from importing oil and protect the environment at the same time.
Across Asia, from India to Thailand, governments are searching the plantations and farm fields for crops that can help them offset their dependence on imported oil. Oil extracted from the seeds of the jatropha plant can be refined into biodiesel, which can be burned in place of regular diesel. To top that the bushes are easy to grow, start producing nuts quickly, and are resistant to drought. And the residue from the pressed nuts can also be burned for fuel.