February 22, 2011

Study Shows Benefits of Jatropha Plant Oil for Electric Power Generation and Industrial Heating

SG Biofuels and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) today released results of a study revealing the performance and emissions benefits of using Jatropha oil as a drop-in replacement for diesel fuel in industrial furnaces used for electric power generation and industrial heating.

Testing by BNL of Jatropha oil provided by SG Biofuels revealed that crude Jatropha oil can be blended with residual oil without any problems in separation or modifications to existing burners. Testing also reveals that crude Jatropha oil has less than 3 percent of the sulfur content of typical heating oil resulting in significant reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions– a major contributor to acid rain-related environmental impacts - and a 50 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.

"From these results, we can conclude that the blending of Jatropha oil with residual oil is a viable option for fueling industrial furnaces, with significant reductions in pollutant emissions such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates," said C.R. Krishna, the lead researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory for the study. BNL is one of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The majority of the work involved testing blends of Jatropha oil with residual oil in a 1.5 million Btu/hr boiler with a burner modified to burn residual oil. Blends of 20 percent and 60 percent, in addition to 100 percent Jatropha oil, were burned in the combustion performance tests.

Jatropha oil was found to have a much lower viscosity, meaning blends do not need to be heated to as high a temperature, which translates into overall energy savings when residual oil is blended with Jatropha oil.

The study was conducted using funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

"The results of the study provide further validation of the quality, performance and broad-ranging benefits of Jatropha oil," said Kirk Haney, president and chief executive officer of SG Biofuels. "Use of Jatropha oil for electric power generation opens a significant new market in many regions of the world that continue to struggle with the challenge to identify locally-produced, sustainable and cost-effective sources of energy."

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