To use all functions of this page, please activate cookies in your browser.
With an accout for my.chemeurope.com you can always see everything at a glance – and you can configure your own website and individual newsletter.
- My watch list
- My saved searches
- My saved topics
- My newsletter
Jatropha is a genus of approximately 175 succulent plants, shrubs and trees (some are deciduous, like Jatropha curcas L.), from the family Euphorbiaceae. Jatropha is native to Central America , and has become naturalized in many tropical and subtropical areas, including India, Africa, and North America. Originating in the Caribbean, the jatropha was spread as a valuable hedge plant to Africa and Asia by Portuguese traders. The mature small trees bear male and female inflorescence, and do not grow very tall.
The hardy jatropha is resistant to drought and pests, and produces seeds containing up to 40% oil. When the seeds are crushed and processed, the resulting oil can be used in a standard diesel engine, while the residue can also be processed into biomass to power electricity plants.
Goldman Sachs recently cited Jatropha curcas as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production. However, despite its abundance and use as an oil and reclamation plant, none of the Jatropha species have been properly domesticated and, as a result, its productivity is variable, and the long-term impact of its large-scale use on soil quality and the environment is unknown. 
Additional recommended knowledge
Vegoil and biodiesel
Currently the oil from Jatropha curcas seeds is used for making biodiesel fuel in Philippines, promoted by a law authored by Philippine senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Miguel Zubiri. Likewise, jatropha oil is being promoted as an easily grown biofuel crop in hundreds of projects throughout India and other developing countries.   The rail line between Mumbai and Delhi is planted with Jatropha and the train itself runs on 15-20% biodiesel.  In Africa, cultivation of jatropha is being promoted and is grown successfully in countries such as Mali. 
Estimates of jatropha seed yield vary widely, due to a lack of research data, the genetic diversity of the crop, the range of environments in which it is grown, and jatropha's perennial life cycle. Seed yields under cultivation can range from 1,500 to 10,000 kilograms per hectare, corresponding to extractable oil yields of 540 to 3,400 liters per hectare.
Jatropha can also be intercropped with other cash crops such as coffee, sugar, fruits and vegetables.
See in the article on Jatropha curcas.
Tea made from the leaf of certain species are reputed to be an aphrodisiac.
Species of Jatropha include:
Gallery of Buddha Belly plant (Jatropha podagrica)
This genus is also known as:
- Jatropha Facts and Figures
- An Integrated Approach of Rural Development in Tropical & Subtropical Countries.
- BBC News website article re. Jatropha and biofuels
- Times Online Article
- Brazil Opens its First Commercial Jatropha Biodiesel Facility
- Biodiesel producers in Africa.
- the global jatropha authority