Rapidly decreasing fossil-fuel reserves of the world have led to an intensive search for alternative sources of energy, and bio-diesel has emerged as the most promising among all available options. This has led to an escalation in research relating to bio-diesel production, and the plant that has caught the fancy of one and all is Jatropha curcas (ratanjyot). Considered as a much maligned and ignored weed till recently, its seeds are now in high demand due to their ability to produce fuel-quality oil called bio-diesel. Presently, efforts are on to produce bio-diesel on a commercial scale in an economical way.
TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) has been at the forefront of all aspects of bio-diesel research, right from superior germplasm selection to doing feasibility studies for industries. Here, we attempt to unravel the facts surrounding jatropha-based bio-diesel and the related potential to touch all areas of life.