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Jatropha: A miracle biofuel crop or just another weed?

Overview

Brazil, a biofuels veteran and the world's leading ethanol exporter, has witnessed unprecedented excitement in the past 18 months over a little-studied, high oil-yielding and drought-resistant weed with the scientific name jatropha curcas.

The media hoopla that has surrounded jatropha, however, obscures a range of technical challenges from the laboratory to the filling station that will probably make it difficult and costly to use the crop as a primary biodiesel feedstock over...

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