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Natural Fuel production increased in 2008; however the assessments for production potential, environmental impacts of biomass facility production and carbon sequestration studies so far revealed that biofuels based on these feedstocks will contribute negatively on several sustainability criteria. Jatropha is a nonfood crop which has gained great attention as future biofuel feed stock because of its non-competing land usage with food crops and its high lipid content. Jatropha curcas is perennial plant that grows even in the marginal and fallow lands unsuitable for other agriculture crops. Jatropha seed kernel contains 40-60% oil suitable for biofuel production. Worldwide, approximately one million hectares of Jatropha have already been planted for biofuel production. It is predicted that each year for the next 5-7 years approximately 1.5 to 2 million hectares of Jatropha will be planted. This will result in a total of approximately 5 million hectares by 2010 and approximately 13 million hectares by 2015. Global investments of up to 1 billion USD expected every year. However, recent studies have shown that Jatropha needs 10 times more water compared to other crops to have optimum lipid production which is a setback for the future sustainable growth of the industry. Also the economics returns of the growing Jatropha for biodiesel alone is not economically viable unless a high value co-product can be produced from the processing. Moreover, increased acreage of Jatropha will also bring new pests and infectious agents which might destroy the crop. So developing drought-resistant salinewater-tolerant and infectious agent-resistant strains of Jatropha is highly desirable.

Further, developing strains of Jatropha to produce Omega-3 oils as a co-product in the biofuel production process will be of high interest. Omega3s are a commodity with high market needs for both human nutraceutical industries and animal feed industries. More and more food and beverage companies have started Omega-3 fortification due to its health benefits to consumers. Beyond diminishing supplies of unsustainable finite marine fish resources there is an also growing concern over pollutants such as dioxins, mercury, and PCBs, in fish oils that are also pushing the market towards sustainable non-marine based Omega-3 oils. Glycerin is a by-product produced from Jatropha biodiesel production which can be converted to 1, 3 propanediol (a high value and high demand organic monomer used in the production of polymers) via microbial/algal conversion. Jatropha seed meal is rich in nitrates and therefore rich in organic fertilizer. Integrating the process for the sequential production of these various products from the same Jatropha seed can substantially reduce the cost of production and increase the amount of revenue derived there from. Accordingly, the combined value of the products and byproducts decreases the operational costs and significantly increase the operational profit.

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