Fill 'er Up... With Jatropha!

Most of the talk we Americans hear about biofuels for vehicles has to do with ethanol- after all, it can be burned in gasoline-engines with minor modifications, plus the technology for producing ethanol relies on good ol' familiar whiskey-still expertise. But in the diesel-fueled parts of the world, particularly those located near the equator, the talk is all about the jatropha bush. Turns out jatropha likes hot, arid climates and its seeds have an impressive 30% oil content. It's inedible, so there shouldn't be many squawks about diverting food from stomachs to fuel tanks, and the process of turning it into a diesel fuel is relatively uncomplicated. Farmers in China, India, and Brazil are gearing up to grow plenty of the stuff.

Former weed may fill world's fuel tanks [Christian Science Monitor]

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Bio-Diesel Baja! Veggie Monsters Aim for Run in Baja 1000 [internal]