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Indian State Plants 3 Million Saplings for Biodiesel Feedstock in 11 Hours

4 September 2006

WebIndia123. The government of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh claims to have set a world record by planting at least three million saplings of Jatropha and Karanj in only 11 hours.

Thousands of volunteers of the National Cader Corps (NCC), schoolchildren, village representatives, teachers and officials participated in the plantation drive in all four blocks of Chief Minister Raman Singh’s home district Kawardha, spread over an area of 3,958 sq km (1,528 sq mi).

“The state government has launched the mega jatropha plantations drive with the sole objective to make India an energy-secure country by 2015,” Raman Singh, who is using jatropha bio-fuel to power his official vehicle since May 2005, told a gathering of farmers at Ramhepur.

District collector Sonmoni Bora told IANS: “At least three million saplings of jatropha and karanj were planted in hundreds of villages, mainly on fallow land, to create a revolution for bio-fuel awareness.”

September 4, 2006 in Biodiesel, India | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

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this is a very impressive activity.

i wonder if jatropha would be energy positive and economically positive in the US? if so, there are certainly enough areas of underused low quality land. much of texas has land that would qualify and land there is cheap.

and, after 20 years, you'd be left with improved soil because of the nitrogen fixing in the root nodes.

Jatropha cultivation requires lot of labor, so I do not think it will be economical for developed countries

Shaun Mann,
Jathropas alos require tropical climates. In the US (and territories/Commonwealth), this means Hawaii, or maybe Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. With global warming, they may be transplanted to Florida, coastal south Texas, and maybe the rest of the Gulf further north. The key appears to be warm, and frost free year round.

Anyone thinking about Mexico here? Lots of land, lots of cheap land, lots of cheap labor.

A friend of mine who is one of the primary owner of citrus groves in Florida mentioned to me that he looked at a 1 million acre parcel of land in Mexico for right around $1.75 million (US).

Many parts of Mexico would have appropriate climates for Jatropha, IMO.

Jatropha may be labor intensive, but so was cotton, and we seem to have solved that problem. That is one reason west Texas cotton is used in cheap Chinese made T-shirts. (See Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy).

John,
Nice idea. Mexico can grow jatrophas in the drier (600-1000mm+/yr) areas. However, in the south and east, the climate is warm and wet enough to have palm oil to produce 600+ ga/acre (vs 175-200 ga/acre jatropha). If capital can be raised, the driest areas adjacent to the ocean/seas may be good candidates for algae oil production that uses OTEC (modified to accept waste heat from power plants and other large heat sources) to provide freshwater and minerals for algae production. Organic carbon from sterilized sewage, and CO2 from power plants will supplement the algae further. The simplest option would be to build shallow ponds, with evaporation mitigators, and simple cold water coolant systems. A more advanced system would entail panels and pipes akin to the GreenFuel Technologies system. It would yield 5-10 thousand gallons per acre, with future yields up to 20,000 not out of the question.

The GreenFuel Tech algae biomass and emission mitigation system:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/08/greenfuel_techn.html
Precipitation map of Mexico.
http://mexicochannel.net/maps/rainfall.gif
Chinese tallow:
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1643800/posts
(search Sapium sebiferum)

http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/sapium.html
http://www.txfb.org/texasAgriculture/2006/090106/090106biodieselcorrection.htm
_
___One interesting possibility would be to use Chinese tallow for plant oil production. It can make 500 ga/acre, but is a noxious weed, and an invasive species outside East Asia.

Allen,
Nice info. I think that this is a largely untapped market, Mexico that is.

Perhaps some of us should put together a proposal on this sort of stuff for the Mexican government. Email me and let me know your thoughts. I'd be willing to dedicate some of my time to such a project.

Anyone else, please chime in. Perhaps this could be a good community project (for GreenCarCongress)?

Bio fuels would be great for the Mexican economy, if they could be imported to the US without heavy taxation.

For example, Brazil proposed selling ethanol to the US for around 50 cents a gallon but was blocked by the agriculture lobby.

Also, agriculture in mexico has suffered from american agri-business; mexican farmers (except for the absolute poorest) don't any longer grow corn, their national crop. Because US farmers are so heavily subsidized it costs more to grow it than to just buy corn from the US. Also, bad farming practices had badly damaged large areas of previously good farmland, with resulting soil erosion, etc. It would be great to plant a lot of beneficial trees to enrich and stabilize the soil.

I have heard talk about biofuels in mexico before, but unlike India, they unfortunately have a hard time getting things going. I'm not sure how they could jump start something like this on a huge scale.

I am interested in developing a trial Jatropha project on some land I own in Campeche, Mexico. The zone is thorn forest, Northern Yucatan peninsula, near the gulf with rainy season approx. July through November.
Can anyone recommend the highest oil yielding variety and a source for the seed? I am hoping to get help/cooperation from the local authorities, though I don't need it. Interested parties please contact me at the address above. Thanks Stephen Collins

From the date of the last posting made by Stephen, it appears the interest in Jathropas has died down.

Hello, I have a question I'm currently working with a group of people from Mexico and South America on the plantation of Jatropha for Bio-diesel. I undestand there is toxic and non-toxic we only have toxic would we be in disadvantage if we only plant the toxic kind thanks....

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