Uses of Jatropha Meal
Jatropha seed cake is high in protein – 58.1 percent by weight compared to soy meal’s 48 percent – and would be a valuable livestock protein feed supplement if it were not for its toxicity. Currently, removal of toxins is not commercially viable. Using non-toxic varieties from Mexico could make greater use of this potentially valuable by-product, but even these varieties may need treatment to avoid sub-clinical problems that could arise with long-term feeding of Jatropha seed cake to livestock (Makkar and Becker, 1997).
Jatropha seed cake makes an excellent organic fertilizer with high nitrogen content similar to, or better than, chicken manure.
The seed cake has a high energy content of 25 MJ kg-1. Experiments have shown that some 60 percent more biogas was produced from jatropha seed cake in anaerobic digesters than from cattle dung, and that it had a higher calorific value (Abreu, 2008). The residue from the biogas digester can be used further as a fertilizer. Where cow dung is used for household fuel, as in India, the seed cake can be combined with cow dung and cellulosic crop residues, such as seed husks, to make fuel briquettes.
Using the Fruit Shells and Seed Husks
Biogas has been produced from fruit shells. In addition, trials showed that seed husks can be used as a feedstock for a gasification plant (Staubmann et al., cited Achten et al., 2008).
Jatropha fruit shells and seed husks can be used for direct combustion. Since the shells make up around 35–40 percent of the whole fruit by weight and have a calorific value approaching that of fuelwood, they could be a useful by-product of jatropha oil production. As shown in Table 8, the calorific values of Prosopis juliflora (a fuelwood species of semi-arid areas) and jatropha fruit shells are similar. However, four times the volume of fruit shells is required to equal the heating value of fuelwood, due to their lower bulk density.
Seed husks have a higher heating value and greater bulk density which makes them more valuable than the fruit shells as a combustible fuel. However, the technology required to separate the seed husk from the kernel is more suited to large processing plants than small rural industry.
The fruit shells can be dried and ground to a powder and formed into fuel briquettes. A trial found that 1 kg of briquettes took around 35 minutes for complete combustion, giving temperatures in the range of 525ºC–780ºC (Singh et al., 2008).
The ash left after combustion of Jatropha shell briquettes is high in potassium, which may be applied to crops or kitchen gardens. The fruit shells and seed husks also can be left around Jatropha trees as mulch and for crop nutrition. For Jatropha grown on degraded land, this has clear advantages because nutrient re-cycling – through returning the seed cake to the plantation – is unlikely to happen, due to the effort required and the higher utility to be gained from applying the seed cake to high-value crops.
Jatropha Meal as Organic Manure to Jatropha curcas Plants
An experient was done to test the response of Jatropha curcas plants to Jatropha cake used as organic manure. The experiments were conducted on cultivable wasteland at Mohuda in the Orissa state ofIndia. The climate is sub-humid receiving high rainfall during rainy months. The soil was sandy loam and non saline with pH 7.2, 05% organic carbon and the available N, P and K were 140.2, 17.5 and 458 kg ha-1, respectively.
Five levels of treatments comprising four different levels of Jatropha cake (0.75, 1.5, 2.25 and 3 tonnes ha-1) and one control plot were applied to Jatropha plants under two different spacings (4m x 3m and 3m x 2m).
Jatropha cake significantly increased the seed yield of Jatropha curcas with increasing level of cake up to the maximum level of 3 t/ha under both the spacings. The treatment receiving 3 tonnes/ha recorded the highest per plant seed yield of 1.52 kg and 0.87 kg in 4m x 3m and 3m x 2m spacings, respectively. The increase in yield obtained with the highest level of cake was 120% over control in the treatment with 833 plants per hectare, while corresponding increase for 1667 plants per hectare treatment was 93%.
- Introduction to the Biofuel Industry
- Properties of Jatropha
- Characteristics of Jatropha
- Extracting Jatropha Oil
- Pre-extraction of Jatropha Oil
- Extraction of Oil from Jatropha Seed
- Filtration & Purification of Jatropha Oil
- Clarification of the Oil
- Getting Clean Jatropha Oil
- Refining the pure Oil
- Typical Processes & Equipments for Jatropha Oil Refinery Plants
- Removing the toxins from the Meal
- Uses of Jatropha Meal
- Properties of Jatropha Oil
- Global Biodiesel Production and Capacity
- Global Market View on Jatropha
- Strategies for Financing
- Status of Jatropha in Asia
- Status of Jatropha in Europe
- Status of Jatropha in Africa
- Status of Jatropha in South America
- Status of Jatropha in North America
- Status of Jatropha Oil Production in India
- Genetic Engineering in Jatropha
- Status of Genetic Engineering of Jatropha in India
- Present Market Scenario for Jatropha