Physical and mechanical properties of Jatropha curcas seed grown up in Colombia


  • Julio Cesar Betancur-Prisco EAFIT University
  • Carolina Mira-Hernández EAFIT University
  • Luis Santiago París-Londoño EAFIT University



Jatropha curcas, physical properties, mechanical properties


Biodiesel from  Jatropha curcas  seeds is one promissory option in the biofuels  field. This is a crop that develops in tropical countries which can grow on  marginal soils with low irrigation and helps to control the erosion. This bush  grows quickly and produces seeds with approximately 35% oil content and it  does not compete with food crops. However, for the production of biodiesel  from  Jatropha  to be sustainable and profitable it is required research and  technological development at all stages of the production chain. This article  shows the results of a research process that aims the determination of some  significant physical and mechanical characteristics of  Jatropha curcas  seeds.  This  data  are  important,  because  they  provide  necessary  information  in   the  design  of  equipment  and  processes  for   Jatropha  curcas  oil production;  especially, for mechanical oil extraction. As a result of the research process  different properties were determined, for example: compression (2.8 mm)  and energy (332  required for fracture, average dimensions of seeds  (length:  10.8  mm/width:  17.8  mm/thickness:  8.6  mm),  fractions  of  shell  (38%) and albumen (62%) in the seed, moisture content of seed (5.2%), oil  content (29%), calorific value of shell (0.3 MJ/kg) and albumen (0.8 MJ/kg).  All these variables are important parameters in the design of equipment, but  also are useful to evaluate alternative uses for by-products of the oil extraction  process, for example as energy source. Besides, the available information in  Colombia about  Jatropha is not much.

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Author Biographies

Julio Cesar Betancur-Prisco, EAFIT University

Engineering, Energy, Exergy and Sustainability Research Group (IEXS), School of Engineering. Teacher - Researcher.

Carolina Mira-Hernández, EAFIT University

Engineering, Energy, Exergy and Sustainability Research Group (IEXS), School of Engineering.

Luis Santiago París-Londoño, EAFIT University

Engineering, Energy, Exergy and Sustainability Research Group (IEXS), School of Engineering.


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How to Cite

Betancur-Prisco, J. C., Mira-Hernández, C., & París-Londoño, L. S. (2014). Physical and mechanical properties of Jatropha curcas seed grown up in Colombia. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (73), 187–199.

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