Biodiesel Crop of the Week: Pongamia Pinnata
2 Days Global Pongamia Integrated Nonfood Biodiesel Farming & Technology Training Programme
October 31, 2014 -- Pongamia is an ancient tree that is native to India. It is frost tolerant, but not freeze-proof. It is also happens to be a legume, which is at the heart of what makes the business model so interesting. The tree yields a generous annual nut crop that is harvested with conventional shakers, such as those used by almond and other nut growers. That seed has approximately a 40 percent oil content that can be easily refined into high-grade biodiesel, biojet fuel, or even other high-demand biochemicals like oleic acid. The remaining seedcake can then be used as a high-protein animal feed or a high-nitrogen fertilizer. And because the tree is a legume, it is fixing nitrogen so the soils are improved and pasture grasses can even be intercropped for cattle grazing. The tree has a productive life of well over 50 years.
Pongamia as a source of biodiesel
As Pongamia has high oil content (+36%) and can grow on malnourished soils with low levels of nitrogen and high levels of salt, it is fast becoming the focus of a number of biodiesel research programs. Some of the advantages of Pongamia are:
Ø A higher recovery and quality of oil than other crops, no direct competition with food crops as it is a non-edible source of fuel,
Ø And no direct competition with existing farmland as it can be grown on degraded and marginal land.
Ø As a legume it is also able to fix its own nitrogen from the soil, minimizing the need for added fertilizers. Whilst there are marked advantages in the use of Pongamia for biodiesel, many considerations are needed in addressing the world’s complex energy situation.
Food v Fuel & Pongamia
The surface required to grow sufficient feedstock for today’s biobased fuel production is less than 0.008% of the global agricultural area of 5 billion hectares. In a world of fast-growing population with an increasing demand for food and feed, the use of feedstock for non-food purposes is often debated controversially. The Study Report “Non Food Biodiesel – Enhanced Economics & better break-even” published by Biodiesel Business Academy (BBA) has given the debate a factual turn. In a world of fast-growing population with an increasing demand for food and feed, the use of feedstock for non-food purposes is often debated controversially. Dilemma of diverting crops and farmland that once produced food for family and for feed for animals, is now being produced for biofuels is not right and just to take the debate away and make it unnecessary we at CJP are promoting nonfood oil crops on the no use land- land that is not otherwise suitable for farming of foods.
ILUC discussion and Pongamia
Many studies have shown there is enough land available to produce more food, more feed and more biofuels. Though the discussion of indirect land use change (ILUC) caused by biofuels is not scientifically supported, the Pongamia does not causes land use change. Contrary to it Pongamia is targeted for marginal lands which are unproductive, often because of salinity and for water logging. It is claimed to be highly salt tolerant and as such is used for reforestation in the dry, saline wasteland.Biodiesel can make a large contribution to the world’s future energy requirements; this is a resource we cannot ignore. The challenge is to harness it on an environmentally and economically manner and without compromising food security.
Economics: Cost & benefit ratio
By using non-food Pongamia tree for biodiesel production and then utilizing the waste for further oil extraction. Using current proven sate of art agronomy, enhanced cultivator and technologies developed by CJP, the biodiesel from Pongamia would be economically viable. The Pongamia Biodiesel can be produced less than US$ 49 per barrel, see detailed economics below
Pongamia has attracted attention as pressure mounts to find sustainable alternative fuels to help meet countries' renewable energy targets and cut greenhouse gas emissions, without interfering with agricultural production. Researchers at CJP has honor to establish this untapped resource as alternative source for Bio- Diesel industry of future as pongamia is a strong candidate to contribute significant amounts of biofuel feedstock.
Therefore the Pongamia Pinnata trees must be regarded as a sure source of 2nd Generation Biodiesel and the foundation around which a profitable Business plan can be built for its ability to provide large amount of oil and its pure hardiness and stress handling ability. The Pongamia Pinnata is tree that has enough credentials: a higher recovery and quality of oil than other crops, no direct competition with food crops as it is a non-edible source of fuel, and no direct competition with existing farmland as it can be grown on degraded and marginal land. As a legume it is also able to fix its own nitrogen from the soil, minimizing the need for added fertilizers.
Based on our proprietary knowledge and extensive experience gained we have developed Based on our proprietary knowledge and extensive experience gained we have developed and enhanced a wide range of Products for creating a “FALESAFE FUEL FARM”
About Advanced Biofuel Center
The CJP- the Advanced Biofuel Center is working towards scientific commercialization of nonfood biodiesel trees/crops that will lend credibility; reliability and scalability with regards to food security, energy security and sustainable development and carbon savings. With an effort to ‘grow beyond oil ‘, apart from Jatropha, CJP has identified, developed and cultivated as many as 15 non-food oil crops. With years of continuing research, experiments and trials has provided an adage to find and develop 2nd generation biodiesel feedstock with low cost input technology. Among the crops identified as potential sources of biodiesel are Simmondsia chinesis, Pongamia (derris indica), Garcinia indica, Moringa oleifera, Madhuca indica, Ricinus communis, Simarouba glauca, Citrullus colocynthis, algae etc. more at http://www.jatrophaworld.org