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Exploitation of the tropical oil seed plant Jatropha curcas L.
In the last few years the potential of the drought resistant tropical tree Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) for the production of biofuels and industrial products has been assessed by several groups. Various novel methods for the cultivation and genetic improvement of J. curcas have been presented. A trans-esterification process of the seed oil for its use as a biofuel was evaluated on an industrial scale (1500 t/a). Various biologically active substances have been isolated and characterized from all parts of the plant. Their mechanisms of action have been studied in relation to a great number of applications of J. curcas in traditional medicine. Substances such as phorbol esters, responsible for the toxicity of J. curcas to animals and humans, have been isolated and their molluscicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties have been demonstrated in lab-scale experiments and field trials. Newly developed biotechnological processes related to the exploitation of J. curcas include the genetic improvement of the plant, biological pest control, enzyme-supported oil extraction, anaerobic fermentation of the press cake and the isolation of antiinflammatory substances and wound-healing enzymes.
Elsevier Science
ISSN : 0960-8524
Bioresource technology A. 1999, vol. 67, n° 1, pp. 73-82 [bibl. : 2 p.1/4]
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