THE MIRACLE BEAN - JATROPHA TOO
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Uploaded on Nov 4, 2009
AN ANCIENT PERENNIAL PLANT OFFERS NEW HOPE FOR TRUE SUSTAINABLE BIO-FUEL.
Running Time: 4:30 minutes
Jatropha curcas is a tough, drought-resistant plant that can grow in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, and sometimes not even requiring dirt, only the cracks in a rock. It has been used for centuries as hedge-fences for livestock in Central and South America, as animals (and humans) know not to eat the poisonous shrub.
But as it turns out, the Jatropha plant and its potent and plentiful bean promises to be the future of sustainable bio-fuel. It doesnt compete with food crops in the global economy, and it requires a single planting that yields decades of harvestable energy.
New Eye Television presents an original short documentary featuring a social farming organization employing green technologies they apply to a variety of Jatropha farming methods, producing bio-fuel at remarkably low operating costs, while maintaining environmental sensitivity.
Growing and using Jatropha does not affect the price of food stock, such as corn, grain, and sugar, all of which are currently being used for bio-diesel production to fuel vehicles, competing with the use of those crops for food and driving up prices on both sides. Under the right conditions, Jatropha plants can live up to 45 years, their seeds can contain up to 46% oil which can be used to produce cheap bio-fuel, and perhaps most importantly doesnt compete for consumption in the world food markets. Another use for the plant is biomass which can be burned, similar to coal, to produce energy; and the oil can even be used raw to produce heat for oil-burning heat system. Current diesel engines can be run on this environmentally friendly fuel with little or no modifications. More and more government agencies, private companies, corporations, and private citizens are joining in the use of this renewable resource.
This New Eye original shows how one farmer in America is leading the clean-fuel charge. He left the security of a job in the city, purchased a 320 acre farm built over a large aquifer in a desert ghost town where nothing else can thrive. The Jatropha story is told from the perspective of one familys dream to build an off grid farm and community, working towards the goal of eliminating petroleum use. The Magic Bean showcases how a small team integrates solar power and alternative energies, with the tending of fish and livestock and organic vegetable gardens, to create a sustainable farm eco-system within which they cultivate a sustainable bio-diesel crop.
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