06 November 2008 07:30 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Jatropha would be commercially viable as the next major feedstock for biofuel production in two to three years, with plantations for the non-edible crop beginning to proliferate in southeast Asia and China, an industry consultant said.
“Many people are moving into the field, so there are more and more plantations that are happening in Indonesia, India, Philippines, Malaysia and China,” Temasek Life Science Laboratory director Hong Yan told ICIS news at the sidelines of the "Biofuels and Food Security” forum in Singapore.
“Research for jatropha is currently at its infancy, but the potential is obviously there,” Hong said.
Jatropha is a plant that produces seed with up to 40% oil content. Unlike palm, jathropa can grow on degraded soil as it is resistant to pests and harsh environmental conditions like drought.
“Oil palm (plantations are limited to) much narrower geographic area, particular requirements for soil and involves use of agro-chemicals. Jatropha has fewer requirements and is not limited by geographic or soil,” he added, although conceding that the crop could not fully the popular biofuel feedstock.
Temasek Life Science is currently in talks with biofuel industry big names for possible commercial venture, said Hong but he declined to elaborate.
The forum organized in conjunction with the International Energy Week runs from 3-7 November.
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