Among the oil-bearing tree species, Jatropha curcas is currently becoming an interesting crop for the production of biodiesel due to some of its interesting properties including resistance to drought, possibility to grow well and quickly on marginal lands without much fertiliser inputs and the need for only moderate rainfall. In this book, a series of biotechnological methodologies is reported, such as vitro propagation and plant breeding of jatropha curcas for the sustainable production of biodiesel. An overview of the currently available information on the different research on the production of biodiesel using jatropha al raw material is also given in terms of catalysts and possible non-edible feedstocks to be utilised in the process. In addition, the different options to include Jatropha in agroforestry systems are described. Their potential social, economic and environmental risks and benefits are discussed. In particular, land use changes related to Jatropha cultivation, their possible impact on food supplies and the up-scaling possibilities are focused upon.
Based on this assessment, the authors provide clear guidelines for the expansion of Jatropha cultivation on a sound socio-economic and environmental basis. Moreover, Yunnan is the richest wild Jatropha resources province now and is to become the greatest Jatropha planting forest province in the following ten years. This book describes the flowering, fruit setting, pollination, seeds biological characteristics of Jastropha under various conditions in Yunnan. Other chapters review the studies available to date about the impact of the introduction of the biofuel crops Jatropha curcas on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use change in tropical regions. This book also attempts to go beyond the pro-contra debate on bio-fuels to search for possible sustainable trajectories.