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Jatropha Curcas

Jatropha curcas or Physic nut is a perennial poisonous shrub (normally up to 5 m high) belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family.

It is an uncultivated non-food wild-species.It’s a perennial shrub ( life cycle 20 - 30 years), easy to adapt in marginal areas and moderate regimes of annual rush (350-700 mm). It is resistant to a medium-long periods of dryness (it can be planted even in semi arid areas) and the products are not edible.

The plant, originating in Central America, whereas it has been spread to other tropical and subtropical countries as well and is mainly grown in Asia and in Africa. It is used as a living fence to protect gardens and fields from wild animals.

Seeds production starts rapidly in 6/9 months, it reaches maturity after 5 years old and it remains in constant production for 25 - 30 years long. The seeds contain 28-38% oil (average: 34%) that can be processed to produce a high-quality biodiesel fuel, usable in a standard diesel engine.

In good conditions it produces 2.8 Ton oil per hectare (6 Ton seed).Jatropha cake or meal (co-extraction products) can be used as solid biomass for the production of energy or as fertilizer.

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