Chemical Composition, Bio-Diesel Potential and Uses of Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae)

Temesgen Bedassa Gudeta


This review paper focuses some basic aspect of the taxonomic, biology, cultivation, chemical composition, bio-diesel potential, medicinal values and uses of Jatropha curcas Linn. The genus Jatropha is distributed throughout the tropics and sub-tropics growning in marginal lands and is a potential biodiesel crop worldwide. It grows almost anywhere, even on gravelly, sandy and saline soils. It can thrive on the poorest stony soil. It can grow even in the crevices of rocks. The plants can prevent soil erosion, grown as a live fence and used as an alternate commercial crop. Due to its adaptability to marginal soils and environments, the cultivation of Jatropha curcas is frequently mentioned as the best option for producing biodiesel. The seed oil can be used as a feed stock for biodiesel. Alternatively Jatropha oil is used in soap, glue or dye industry. The seed cake is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, and can be used as manure. The seed kernel contains predominantly crude fat oil and protein while the seed coat (husk) contains mainly fibre. The seed contains about 42% seed husks (seed coat) and 58% kernels, part of the seed in the seed coat. The matured seeds contain 21% saturated fatty acids and 79% unsaturated fatty acids and they yield 25%–40% oil by weight. All parts of the plant including seeds have medicinal properties. Now days, various countries around the world have proposed vegetable oils and their conversion to biodiesel as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels in which Jatropha curcas L. is one of it. Ash from the roots and branches of Jatropha curcas L. is used as cooking salt, and as lye in dyeing. The dark blue dye extracted from the bark of Jatropha is a useful dye.  The plant parts and its oil along with its latex used for different reasons such as pesticides, anti-inflammatory activities, wound healing, lighting (lamp), bio-gas production, fertilizer and other purposes.

Keywords: Chemical composition, Jatropha curcas, biodiesel, uses

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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