Jatropha seeds are thin-shelled ones with black color. They have an oblong shape. A Jatropha seed resembles the castor seeds. It has 2 to 3 large black and oily seeds in a single seed shell.
The matured Jatropha seeds are 2 ½ cm long and they can be easily crushed to extract the oil from them. Nearly 33% of oil can be obtained by crushing the seeds. The oil of these seeds is used as a biofuel.
The Jatropha seeds are toxic hence they are not used as a food product. But they are used to prepare inedible products like biodiesel and fertilizers. The seeds are considered as toxic since they enclose toxalbumin curcin. Still, there are some non-toxic Jatropha seed varieties.
The toxic can be destroyed by roasting the seeds. Since, it contains a high percentage of cleaning oil which is used for candles, soaps and also as a biofuel product.
Biodiesel extracted from Jatropha curcas is called Jatropha Methyl Ester. The seed of physic nut Jatropha has insecticides and fungicides properties in them. The latex of the plant contains alkaloid which has anti-cancerous property.
High-quality Jatropha seeds have the following yield.
- Year 1 – 3kg/tree
- Year 2 – 6kg/tree
- Year 3 – 9kg/tree
- Year 4 – 10-12kg/tree
- Year 5 – 10-15kg/tree
Jatropha seeds can produce 60% of oil depending on the following factors:
- The yielding capacity of the plant
- Advanced pruning techniques
- Soil moisture level
- Soil nutrient level
- Application of fertilizers
- Stage of ripening