bio-jet-fuel

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 

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.