oa CSIR Science Scope - Ensuring biodiesel is green
The proposed introduction of bio-energy species for large-scale planting and biofuel production can help reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. Jatropha curcas has attracted international and local interest as a drought tolerant, fast growing, bio-energy crop. Other advantages attributed to this species are that it tolerates marginal soils and is unpalatable to livestock, reputedly making it suitable for restoration of degraded land. The South African government has received numerous requests for permission to plant Jatropha, but the impacts on hydrology, food security, poverty relief and biodiversity conservation are currently unknown. These uncertainties require clarification through a combination of process-based field measurements and modelling exercises.
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