Title: Energy analysis and potentials of biodiesel production from Jatropha Curcas in Tunisia

Authors: Soukaina Fersi; Nouri Chtourou; Damien Bazin

Addresses: Research Unit in Development Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management of Sfax, University of Sfax, Route de l'Aéroport Km 4, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia; A3i INNOVATION, INEED ROVALTAIN TGV, 26958 Valence, Cedex 9, France ' Research Unit in Development Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management of Sfax, University of Sfax, Route de l'Aéroport Km 4, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia ' GREDEG (Research Group on Law Economics and Management), Higher Institute of Economics and Management (ISEM), Department of Human Science (MSH), University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (UNS), UMR CNRS 6227, 250, rue Albert Einstein, 06560 Valbonne, France

Abstract: Oleaginous plants such as Jatropha Curcas Linnaeus (JCL), not intended for human consumption but used for biodiesel production, could contribute to beneficial outcomes. This plant grows on poor land (arid and marginal land) and is drought resistant. Jatropha Curcas is native to South America and widely grown in South and Central America, Africa, and Asia (Achten et al., 2007; Kumar et al., 2011). Some areas in Tunisia may be suitable for JCL, although not for food production. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the energy performance and potential of Jatropha Curcas for biodiesel production in Tunisia. The evaluation will be completed through the elaboration of an energy balance using life cycle assessment (LCA), which will facilitate the decision making process. Therefore, the cultivation of JCL production in Tunisia will be an experiment with uncertain results. The energy assessment reveals a negative energy return (EE = 0.42). Because of high investment costs and low yield per hectare, Jatropha is not a sound economic choice.

Keywords: energy balance; life cycle assessment; LCA; Jatropha Curcas Linnaeus; JCL; biodiesel production; biofuels; Tunisia; energy analysis; oleaginous plants; investment costs; low yield; energy return.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGEI.2012.051708

International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 2012 Vol.35 No.6, pp.441 - 455

Available online: 24 Jan 2013

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