Saturday, 14 February 2009

Food versus Fuel

Since crude oil prices plunged, investers in alternative oil sources like Jatropha are becoming very nervous, because the short term profitability of their investments is depending on high crude oil prices.They probably feel more relieved since the UK based company D1oils recently announced a breaktrough in the search for non toxic seedcake or what they call seedcake without "non "nutrient "elements. The idea is to use the seedcake for animal feed. Gone are the nice stories about fertilizer value of the same seedcake. Further on D1oils embraced a report commissioned to Ecofys regarding the GHG caracteristics of Jatropha in India. Very very good. Not very smart however. Guys, when you sell your nutrient rich seed cake as chicken feed you will have to compensate the loss of nutrients in your Jatropha plantation. With what? Chicken dung? Who is going to pay for that? With fertilizer? Bye bye GHG balance.

I wrote this more than a year ago. In the mean time the science part of D1oils (D1plantscience) became Quinvita. But what about the GHG balance?