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The Jatropha curcas plant has been identified as the most suitable plant for biodiesel in Ghana.
This was part of findings from a major project that was aimed at providing a readily available renewable fuel that will serve as a diesel substitute: to power diesel engine running equipment in shea butter extraction unit, provide readily available fuel for lighting and evaluate the economic viability of the use of the biofuel as both diesel and kerosene substitutes in rural Ghana.
As part of the study, Jatropha curcas plantation and pilot processing units were established within some rural communities in the Northern Region of Ghana.
Some women processors were trained on the extraction and utilization of Jatropha biofuel in soap making.
Findings showed that a combination of 30% mineral diesel oil: 70% Jatropha biofuel was found appropriate for running the diesel engines.
Local lanterns were found to give smokeless light lasting four times longer than kerosene when the Jatropha oil was used.
The Jatropha biofuel helped achieve energy security in communities that were otherwise inaccessible and constantly in search of regular supply of mineral fuels like diesel and kerosene.
Sabina Anokye Mensah is the Chief Executive Officer of ANOMENA Ventures, a social enterprise in Ghana.
She holds a PhD in NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT from the Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus-Germany, M(Phil) in Food Science from the University of Ghana and BSc in Biochemistry from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Sc.
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