In news: Recently, the Russian-made AN-32 transport aircraft has gone green and the fleet of AN-32 is now formally certified to fly on a blended bio-jet fuel.
More about the news:
- The biojet fuel is 10 percent tree-derived and 90 percent conventional aviation fuel.
- In December 2018, the IAF first flew an AN-32 on a biofuel that was a blend of Jatropha oil and aviation turbine fuel (ATF).
- The bio-jet fuel technology driving the IAF shift was first developed by the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), which falls under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in 2009.
- While developed countries like Canada, Australia and US have already conducted these test flights, India would be the first developing nation to experiment that.
Jatropha curcas is a plant of Latin American origin which is now widespread throughout arid and semi arid tropical regions of the world.
- It is a drought-resistant perennial, living up to 50 years and growing on marginal soils.
- A close relative to the castor plant, its oil has the same medical properties
- Jatropha seeds contain about 35% of non-edible oil.
Utility of Jatropha:
- Traditionally the seeds were harvested by women and used for medical treatments and local soap production.
- If carefully planted, Jatropha hedges not only protect gardens from hungry livestock but also reduce damage and erosion from wind and water.
- It is also used as an insecticide and fungicide as well as livestock feed.
- Jatropha seed cake makes an excellent organic fertilizer with a high nitrogen content.