- After the first five years, the typical annual yield of a jatropha tree is 3.5kg of beans.
- Jatropha trees are productive for up to 30-40 years.
- 2,200 trees can be planted per hectare (approx 1,000 per acre).
- 1 hectare should yield around 7 tonnes of seeds per year.
- The oil pressed from 4kg of seeds is needed to make 1 litre of biodiesel.
- 91%+ of the oil can be extracted with cold pressing.
- 1 hectare should yield around 2.2-2.7 tonnes of oil.
- Press cake (seedcake) is left after the oil is pressed from the seeds. This can be composted and used as a high grade nitrogen rich organic fertilizer (green manure). The remaining oil can be used to make skin friendly soap.
- One job is created for each 4 hectares of jatropha plantation.
- The average Belizean agricultural worker earns $300 usa per month. (minimum wage )
- Biodiesel costs around 16-20p per litre to grow and refine in India.
- Glycerol, a biproduct of biodiesel refinement, can be sold in India for around 45-70p per kilogram.
- One hectare of jatropha plantation yields 25,000 Rupees / year (around £300) in India.
The following stats come from D1 Oils - the UK's biggest biodiesel company:
- Crushing 1 tonne of Jatropha seeds costs around $40 (£23).
- 1 tonne of seedcake (the leftovers after pressing) can be sold for $100 (£55).
- The transport costs of shipping 1 tonne of jatropha from India to Northern Europe is $100 (£55).
- The landed cost of 1 tonne of jatropha oil to Northern Europe is between $348 and $500 for oil contents of 29% to 40% (£180 to £260). - Refining jatropha oil into biodiesel costs less than $125 (£65) per tonne.
- Filtered jatropha oil can be used as is in many diesel vehicles (as SVO) with only small modifications required to the engine.
- Jatropha oil can be used as a kerosene substitute for heating and lamps.
- Jatropha oil burns with a clear smokeless flame.
**** Personal comment and experience. I sometimes wonder about some of these tropical schemes, as they are based on India labor prices. It costs money to pick beans, or cohune nuts, etc. 50 years ago, I was going to get rich, exporting the enzyme papaine, a papaya latex, to the New York market from Northern Belize. Had 90 acres of papaya available in Sarteneja, ready to go. It turned out the then British Honduras labor costs, were more than I would get paid for the papain on the world market. When I see people studying cohune nuts for their oil, I think COST OF LABOR. When I see Jatropha plantations, I think cost of labor to pick the beans. The Mennonites in Belize are successful in chickens, beans and rice, but that is because they can mechanize it, on a big scale. Low labor costs. Show me how to mechanize the harvesting and you got a good idea. But manual labor? No way Jose!
Buy Jatropha Curcas Seeds
If you are interested in trying to grow your own Jatropha plants, you'll need some seeds. These can most easily be purchased from countries such as Malaysia and Brazil via eBay UK (or eBay USA. Click here to search eBay UK now for Jatropha (or here to search eBay USA for Jatropha).
At the time of writing 5000 high yield jatropha curcas seeds are available from Malaysia for around £80, and 1000 for from £16 to £21 from Malaysia and Brazil. Seeds are also available in much smaller quantities for just £2+.
The leaves are a food supplement. Very rich in minerals and vitamins. One of the best foods on the planet.