Jatropha: Not Just A Homely Weed

<p>The oil-rich plant is being trumpeted as a source for biodiesel by some nations and corporations that hope to cash in on it as 'the final solution.'</p>
May 13, 2007, 8pm PDT | davarnado
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"From China to Brazil, countries have begun setting aside tens of thousands of acres for the cultivation of jatropha – a plant many experts say is the most promising source for biodiesel. At the same time, companies from Europe and India have begun buying up land throughout Africa to establish jatropha plantations."

"As American farmers plan to plant the most corn since World War II to cash in on ethanol, which is added to gasoline, much of the rest of the world is turning to jatropha...."

"The two are not competitors, since neither can be used in the other type of fuel. But jatropha is fast emerging as a candidate for the ideal biofuel. It is grown in wastelands, needs relatively little care or refinement, and is inedible – meaning it will not take food from the poor for the gas tanks of the rich."

Thanks to D. A. Varnado, AICP

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Published on Sunday, May 13, 2007 in The Christian Science Monitor
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