August 25 was the official launch of the endeavor by Brazil to produce a biodiesel fuel on an industrial scale using the castor-oil plant. A pilot project has been underway for two months in Quixeramobim, state of Ceará.
Quixeramobim is a town in the semi-arid region of
the Brazilian Northeast where 70 hectares are being cultivated,
creating 60 jobs.
At the moment, the project is producing 350 liters daily of
biodiesel. When the project is completely operational it will produce 800 liters
So far, a total of US$ 508,000 (1.5 million reais) has been
invested by the state, local authorities and a consortium of privately-owned
thermoelectric power plants.
The Brazilian Farm Research Corporation (Embrapa) has provided
“The cultivation of the castor-oil plant to extract a biodiesel
is part of the Brazilian government objective of stimulating the production of
biofuels,” explains Cezar Martins da Rocha, of the Ministry of Agriculture, who
adds that the project will be expanded further in the semi-arid region of
Rocha is from Ceará and is one of the architects of the
project. He says the production of biodiesel from the castor-oil plant helps to
clean the air.
“It is a clean source of energy that absorbs carbon gases in
the atmosphere,” he declares. “Besides its potential here in Brazil, it has a
great future in foreign markets, as well.”