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Institute of Applied Systems and Rural Development
Jatropha Plantation in India
Seminars on Bio-Fuel & Green Energy
Awareness Program for School Children
Other Environmental Protection Activities
Promotion of Jatropha Plantation
Consultancy Services
Jatropha Consultancy Noida
Promotion of Jatropha plantation

Bio-diesel is an eco-friendly, alternative diesel fuel prepared from domestic renewable resources i.e. vegetable oils (edible or non- edible oil) and animal fats. These natural oils and fats are made up mainly of triglycerides. These triglycerides when reach striking similarity to petroleum derived diesel and are called "Bio-diesel". As India is deficient in edible oils, non-edible oil may be material of choice for producing bio diesel . For this purpose Jatropha curcas considered as most potential source for it. Bio diesel is produced by transesterification of oil obtains from the plant.

Jatropha Curcas has been identified for India as the most suitable Tree Borne Oilseed (TBO) for production of bio-diesel both in view of the non-edible oil available from it and its presence throughout the country. The capacity of Jatropha Curcas to rehabilitate degraded or dry lands, from which the poor mostly derive their sustenance, by improving land's water retention capacity, makes it additionally suitable for up-gradation of land resources. Presently, in some Indian villages, farmers are extracting oil from Jatropha and after settling and decanting it they are mixing the filtered oil with diesel fuel. Although, so far the farmers have not observed any damage to their machinery, yet this remains to be tested and PCRA is working on it. The fact remains that this oil needs to be converted to bio-diesel through a chemical reaction - trans-esterification. This reaction is relatively simple and does not require any exotic material. IOC (R&D) has been using a laboratory scale plant of 100 kg/day capacity for trans-esterification; designing of larger capacity plants is in the offing. These large plants are useful for centralized production of bio-diesel. Production of bio-diesel in smaller plants of capacity e.g. 5 to 20 kg/day may also be started at decentralized level in villages.

1.Technical Feasibility:
Can be blended in any ratio with petro-diesel.
Existing storage facilities and infrastructure for petro-diesel can be used with minor alteration.
From environment and emissions point of view it is superior to petro-diesel.
It can provide energy security to remote and rural areas.
It has good potential for employment generation.
2.Sources of Bio-diesel:
All Tree Bearing Oil (TBO) seeds - edible and non edible.
Edible: Soya-bean, Sun-flower, Mustard Oil etc.
Non-edible: Jatropha Curcas, Pongemia Pinnata, Neem etc.
Edible seeds can't be used for bio-diesel production in our country, as its indigenous production does not meet our current demand.
Among non-edible TBO, Jatropha Curcas has been identified as the most suitable seed for India.
3.Advantages of Jatropha:
Jatropha Curcas is a widely occurring variety of TBO.
It grows practically all over India under a variety of agro climatic conditions.
Can be grown in arid zones (20 cm rainfall) as well as in higher rainfall zones and even on the land with thin soil cover.
Its plantation can be taken up as a quick yielding plant even in adverse land situations viz. degraded and barren lands under forest and non-forest use, dry and drought prone areas, marginal lands, even on alkaline soils and as agro-forestry crops.
It grows as a tree up to the height of 3 - 5 mt.
It is a good plantation for Eco-restoration in all types wasteland.
4. Agro Practices (as per NOVOD, Ministry of Agriculture, GOI
Nursery raising : Nurseries may be raised in poly-bags filled with mixture of soil and farm yard manure in the ratio of 4:1. Two seeds are sown in each bag.
Plantation : 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm pits are dug. Farm yard manure (2-3 kg), 20 gm urea, 12 gm Single Super Phosphate (SSP) & 16 gm Mono Phosphate (MP).
Planting density : 2500 plants / ha at 2m x 2m.
Transplantation : It should be done during rainy reason.
Fertilizer : From second year in the ratio of 40:60:20 Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) kg/ha.
Irrigation : It is required only for the first two years.
Pruning : During first year when branches reach a height of 40-60 cms.
Pest & Disease control : No disease or insects noticed to be harmful.
Flowering and fruiting : Flowering: Sept.- Dec. & March- April And Fruiting, after 2 months of flowering.
5.State-wise area undertaken by NOVOD for Jatropha Plantation 
State Area   (ha)
Andhra Pradesh - 44
Bihar - 10
Chhatisgarh - 190
Gujarat - 240
Haryana - 140
Karnataka - 80
Madhya Pradesh - 260
Maharashtra - 150
Mizoram - 20
Rajasthan - 275
Tamil Nadu - 60
Uttaranchal - 50
Uttar Pradesh - 200
6. Economics (as per Planning Commission Report on Bio-fuels, 2003)
Activities Rate (Rs./Kg.)
Seed 5.00 3.28   16.40
Collection cost & oil extraction 2.36 1.05   2.48
Less cake produced 1.00 2.23 (-) 2.23
Trans-esterification 6.67 1.00 6.67
Less cost of glycerin produced 40-60 0.09 (-) 3.8-5.7
Cost of Bio-diesel per Kg. 19.52-17.62    
Cost of Bio-diesel per litre (Sp. Gravity 0.85) 16.59-14.98      
7. Employment potential (as per Planning Commission report on bio-fuels, 2003))

Likely demand of petro diesel by 2006-07 will be 52 MMT and by 2011-12 it will increase to 67 MMT. 5% blend of Bio-diesel with petro diesel will require 2.6 MMT of Bio-diesel in 2006-07. By 2011-12, for 20% blend with Petro-diesel, the likely demand will be 13.4 MMT. To meet the requirement of 2.6 MMT of bio-diesel, plantation of Jatropha should be done on 2.2 - 2.6 million ha area. 11.2 - 13.4 million ha of land should be covered by 2011 - 12 for 20% bio-diesel blending.

It will generate following no. of jobs in following areas.

(a) of BDS Units
Year Jobs In Operation Jobs In Plantation Jobs In Maintenance
2006-07 2.5 million 0.75 million 0.10 million
2011-12 13.0 million 3.9 million 0.30 million
Oil content :35% to 40%, Collection and processing And Ripe fruits collected from trees.
8. Efforts of National Oilseed and Vegetable Oil Development Board (NOVOD) 
Systematic state/ region wise survey for identification of superior trees and superior seeds.
Maintenance of record on seeds/trees.
Samples of high yield to be sent to National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) for accession and cryo-preservation.
NOVOD has developed improved Jatropha seeds, which have oil contents up to 1.5 times of ordinary seeds.
However, being in short supply, initially these improved Jatropha seeds would be supplied only to Agricultural Universities for multiplication and development.
After multiplication these would be supplied to different states for further cultivation. This program is likely to take 3 - 4 years..
It is also working for development of multi-purpose post-harvest technology tools like decorticator and de-huller, which would further improve oil recovery.
9. Trans-esterification Process
Vegetable Oil, Alcohol, Catalyst(Sodium or Potassiu m Hydroxide), Glycerin (Used for medicinal value), Bio-diesel ( 100 gm, 12 gm, 1 gm, 11 gm, 95 gm) respectively.
It is the displacement of alcohol from an ester by another alcohol in a similar process to hydrolysis.
Vegetable Oil i.e. the triglyceride can be easily trans-esterified in the presence of alkaline catalyst at atmospheric pressure and at temperature of approximately 60 to 70oC with an excess of methanol.
If 100 gm of vegetable oil is taken, 1 gm of the alkaline catalyst (Potassium Hydroxide), and 12 gm of Methanol would be required.
As a first step, the alkaline catalyst is mixed with methanol and the mixture is stirred for half an hour for its homogenization.
This mixture is mixed with vegetable oil and the resultant mixture is made to pass through reflux condensation at 65oC.
The mixture at the end is allowed to settle.
The lower layer will be of glycerin and it is drain off.
The upper layer of bio-diesel (a methyl ester) is washed to remove entrained glycerin.
The excess methanol recycled by distillation.
This reaction works well with high quality oil. If the oil contains 1% Free Fatty Acid (FFA), then difficulty arises because of soap formation. If FFA content is more than 2% the reaction becomes unworkable.
Methanol is inflammable and Potassium Hydroxide is caustic, hence proper and safe handling of these chemicals are must.
10. Agencies & Institutes working in the field of bio-diesel
National Oil seeds and Vegetable Oil Board, Gurgaon.
PCRA - Petroleum Conservation Research Association (MOP&NG).
IOC (R&D) Centre, Faridabad.
Delhi College of Engineering.
IIT, Delhi.
IIP, Dehradun.
Downstream National Oil Companies.
Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources.
Central Pollution Control Board.
Bureau of Indian Standards.
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency.
States, which have made some lead:
Uttranchal: Uttaranchal Bio-fuel Board (UBB) has been constituted as a nodal agency for bio-diesel promotion in the state. Has undertaken Jatropha plantation in an area of 1 lakh hectare. UBB has established Jatropha Gene Bank to preserve high yielding seed varieties. Has ambitious plan to produce 100 million liters of bio-diesel.
Andhra Pradesh:
Govt. of AP (GoAP) to encourage Jatropha plantation in 10 rain shadow districts of AP. Task force for it has been constituted at district and state level .GoAP proposed Jatropha cultivation in 15 lakh acres in next 4 years. Initial target is 2 lakh acres.
Irrigation to be dovetailed with Jatropha cultivation. 90% drip subsidy is proposed, Jatropha cultivation to be taken up only in cultivable lands with existing farmers.Crop and yield insurance is proposed.
6 lakh saplings of Jatropha have been planted with the involvement of State's Forest, Agriculture, Panchayat and Rural Development Departments. As per the Deputy Chairman, State Planning Board, the state has the target to cover 1 million ha of land under Jatropha plantation. Ten reputed bio-diesel companies, including the UK-based D1 Oils, have offered to set up Jatropha oil-extraction units or to buy the produce from farmers in Chhattisgarh. Companies like Indian Oil, Indian Railways and Hindustan Petroleum have each deposited Rs 10 lakh as security for future MoUs with the state government.
11. Farmers' Initiatives in Haryana
Farmers in Haryana have formed NGOs and cooperatives for promotion of Jatropha plantation. These NGOs and cooperatives are raising nurseries for Jatropha plantation and supplying saplings to others for further cultivation. They have been blending directly Jatropha Oil into diesel fuel and successfully using this blend in their tractors and diesel engines without any problems. These NGOs and cooperatives are also organizing the practical demonstration of this usage in their demonstration workshops. They are organizing local seminars, workshops and conferences etc. to promote the usage of Jatropha oil. NGOs have also printed some booklets on Jatropha plantation.
12. Current usages of bio-diesel / Trials & testing of bio-diesel
Usages of bio-diesel are similar to that of petro-diesel. Shatabadi Express was run on 5% blend of bio-diesel from Delhi to Amritsar on 31st Dec. 2002 in association with IOC. Field trials of 10% bio-diesel blend were also done on Lucknow-Allahabad Jan Shatabdi Express also through association with IOC. HPCL is also carrying out field trials in association with BEST Bio-Diesel blend from IOC (R&D) is being used in buses in Mumbai as well as in Rewari, in Haryana on trial basis. CSIR and Daimler Chrysler have jointly undertaken a successful 5000 km trial run of Mercedes cars using bio-diesel as fuel. NOVOD has initiated test run by blending 10% bio diesel in collaboration with IIT, Delhi in Tata Sumo & Swaraj Mazda vehicles.
Jatropha Plantation & its Advantages:
In order to reduce dependence on imported oil, it is necessary to replace petro-diesel by bio-diesel. The bio-diesel can be produced indigenously from tree borne oil seeds. Jatropha, Carcus, is one of the tree-borne oil seeds which is considered most suitable for production of bio-diesel. because of its under noted advantages over other species:
Oil Yield per hectare is among the highest of tree borne oil seeds.
It can be grown in areas of low rainfall (200 mm per year) and in problematical soils. In high rainfall and irrigated areas too it can be grown with much higher yields. Therefore, it can be grown in most parts of the country.
Jatropha is easy to establish, grows relatively quickly and is hardy.
Jatropha lends itself to plantations with advantage on lands developed on watershed basisand on low fertility marginal, degraded, fallow, waste and other lands such as along the canals, roads, railway tracks, on borders of farmer fields as a boundary fence or live hedge in the arid/semi-arid areas and even on alkaline soils. As such, it can be used to reclaim waste lands in the forests and outside.
Jatropha can be established from seed seedlings and vegetatively from cuttings. Use of branch cutting for propagation is easy and results in rapid growth.
Jatropha is not browsed by animals.
Various parts of the plant are of medicinal value,its bark contains tannin, the flowers attract bees and thus the plant has honey production potential.
Like all trees, Jatropha removes carbon from the atmosphere, stores it in the woody tissues and assists in the build up of soil carbon. It assimilate 10 tons of carbon per hectares which can be internationally traded.
The plant starts giving seed in a maximum period of two years after planting.
Being rich in nitrogen, the deoiled cake is an excellent source of plant nutrient.
The plant is undermanding in soil type and does not require tillage Jatropha being hardy, drought resistant and less water consuming is considered as low risk crop.
Jatropha is one of the prospective oil born tree. Its seed contains 35 – 40% oil which acts as a raw material for biodiesel. It has the requisite potential of providing a promising and commercially viable alternative to diesel.
The latex of Jatropha contains alkaloids such as Jatrophine, Jatropham and Jatrophone which have anti-cancerous properties.
Jatropha oil can be used as a direct substitute to kerosene as fuel for cooking. The smoke of Jatropha oil is almost odourless.
Jatropha is the best and cheapest solution for fencing around agricultural fields & forest plantations.
Jatropha has a very high saponification value and extensively used for making soap and detergent.
Jatropha cultivation not only increase the fertility of soil but also protect the fields from termites and insects.
Jatropha oil can directly be used in tractors, generators and diesel pumps by the farmers without any processing.
IASRD is registered with PCRA and prominently appears on the website of PCRA. For more details on Project Reports and cost etc. please contact IASRD, New Delhi
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