Does Biodiesel from Jatropha Curcas Represent a Sustainable Alternative Energy Source?
Various government agencies around the world have proposed vegetable oils and their conversion to biodiesel as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Due to its adaptability to marginal soils and environments, the cultivation of Jatropha curcas is frequently mentioned as the best option for producing biodiesel. In the present work the current situation of proven and potential reserves of fossil fuel, and the production and consumption model for the same are analyzed, in order to later review the sustainability of the production process which begins with the cultivation of J. curcas , and culminates with the consumption of biodiesel. A review of the following topics is proposed in order to improve the sustainability of the process: areas destined for cultivation, use of external (chemical) inputs in cultivation, processes for converting the vegetable oil to biodiesel, and, above all, the location for ultimate consumption of the biofuel.
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