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The Saudi Biodiesel Juggernaut
Jamais Cascio, 17 Feb 05

Okay, maybe not quite yet. But the Guardian reports that a British firm, D1 Oils, has launched a joint venture with a Saudi oil firm, Jazeera for Modern Technology, to make biodiesel for export.

The new fuel is to be produced from plantations of jatropha trees on land that used to be desert. The black seeds from conker-type shells produced by the plants will be picked and fed into special refineries to be built in Saudi Arabia.The resulting fuel will either be used locally or mixed with crude oil and shipped to Europe to feed a growing demand for more environmentally friendly petrol.

(Press release from D1 Oils here.) Jatropha is well-suited for this purpose, as it grows well with little water and in harsh environments. Jatropha-based biodiesel is already used in Africa and India.

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