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Jatropha – Zambia’s first Bio-diesel Feedstock
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to highlight and bring out the main environmental,economic and social impacts of the fast developing Jatropha industry in Zambia. Thestudy addressed key issues related with the Jatropha cultivation, processing and use of bio-diesel and its by-products. Each of the stages of Jatropha cultivation, conversiontechnology and the ultimate use of bio-diesel, glycerine and seedcake were related to the environmental, economic and social impacts.

Jatropha based bio-diesel production in Zambia has potential to stimulate ruraldevelopment, promote agriculture and also helps to diversify Zambia’s economy. The Jatropha industry has potential to create more jobs than the fossil fuel sector. Locally produced bio-diesel would reduce reliance on imported fossil oil, which is more susceptible to external interruptions, ultimately improving on security of supply.Glycerine and the seedcake have both commercial and economic value within oroutside the country. The environmental impacts among others include reduced end-ofpipeemissions, soil conservation benefits and ability to minimize desertification.

Key social impacts resulting from the Jatropha industry cannot be traced easily asactual experiences are yet to be seen and assessed. The issues of threat to foodsecurity and poverty reduction among the poor rural farmers require more time and amulti-disciplinary approach. The actual positive or negative impacts are projectionsthat depend on a variety of parameters and factors that may not follow a linear scale.The use of fertilizer may disadvantage rural farmers, while use of irrigation wouldequally impact negatively on them. Intercropping is beneficial to small scale farmers in the initial years, but may not be feasible later on.

Pro-poor policies and promoting a reliable Jatropha feedstock are some of the waysthat will ensure a vibrant and competitive Jatropha industry in Zambia. Research anddevelopment should be promoted, well co-ordinated and encouraged so that up to date information is made available for informed decisions as the industry expands.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 90 p.
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2009:09
Keyword [en]
Jatropha, cultivation, environmental impact, economic impact, biodiesel, Zambia
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Renewable Bioenergy Research Environmental Sciences Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33097OAI: diva2:413316
Subject / course
Industrial Ecology
Educational program
Master of Science - Sustainable Technology

Available from: 2011-05-02 Created: 2011-04-28 Last updated: 2012-10-28Bibliographically approved

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