Potential land for plantation of Jatropha curcas as feedstocks for biodiesel in China

  • Wu W
  • Huang J
  • Deng X
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As a renewable energy, biofuel has attracted great attention in China and the rest of world. Concerned with the national food security, China recently has shifted its biofuel development priority from grain-based to non-grain-based biofuels, including forest-based biodiesel, since 2007. Jatropha curcas is one of major biodiesel feedstocks. However, there is rising debate on availability of land for expanding Jatropha curcas areas. The overall goal of this paper is to evaluate potential land for Jatropha curcas used as feedstock for biodiesel in China. Based on remote sensing data on land use, data on meteorological, soil and land slope, and suitable environment for Jatropha curcas plantation, this study uses Agro Ecological Zone method and considers social-economic constraints to evaluate potential suitable land for Jatropha curcas plantation in China’s major Jatropha curcas production region, Southwest China. The results show that while there are some potential lands to expand Jatropha curcas areas, amount of these lands will hardly meet the government’s target for Jatropha curcas-based biodiesels development in the future. China may need to reconsider its long-term targets on the development of Jatropha curcas-based biodiesels

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biodiesel
  • Jatropha curcas
  • Potential land
  • Southwest China
  • Suitability evaluation

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