Jatropha oil ? an alternative to kerosene
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CTA. 2008. Jatropha oil ? an alternative to kerosene. Rural Radio Resource Pack 08/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57219
A simple lantern than runs on home-grown oil
Jatropha oil ? an alternative to kerosene Cue: Every evening, millions of families across the world light up kerosene lanterns, especially in rural areas not connected to a national electricity grid. In some countries, kerosene is also widely used as a cooking fuel, and may be subsidised by governments, to reduce dependence on firewood. But in Tanzania, a locally produced alternative to kerosene is gaining in popularity. Jatropha oil is produced from the seeds of the jatropha tree, a plant found in regions close to the equator, which can grow up to 6 metres in height. Jatropha Products Tanzania Limited is a non-profit organisation which is promoting the use of jatropha oil in the country. Farmers, for example, are being trained in how to extract the oil and use it to meet some of their energy needs. Albert Mshanga explained more to Lazarus Laiser, about how the oil can be used. IN: ?Jatropha oil, essentially, can be used ? OUT: ? energy at our household level.? DUR?N: 5?30? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Albert Mshanga of Jatropha Products Tanzania Limited. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Mshanga Jatropha oil, essentially, can be used in different ways. It can be used to light a small lantern like the jatropha lamps that we have in front of us here. Also it can be used in a small stove which has been modified to use plant oil. Jatropha oil can also be transformed into biodiesel and used in cars which use diesel oil. Laiser Now Mr Albert, focusing on the small lantern which is just before us, will you just describe how it is made? Mshanga This small lantern is made up of a recycled coffee tin. The coffee tins have been thrown away after the coffee inside has been used. Also we have a glass on top of it which is put there to radiate the light, to increase the illumination of the lamp. And we have the wires which are used for making handles and a frame for the glass. The fabrication of this lantern is quite simple. It is just a coffee tin, wire, and a glass and a copper tube at the middle of the lantern. The copper tube is used as an area where you fix or you put your wick, and the copper tube is used to warm the oil around it, so it makes the oil thinner so it can increase the capillarity of the oil. Laiser So the tube which is going down there, you say that it helps to heat the oil to make it thinner? Mshanga It is true that the copper tubes go inside the oil in the tin. The copper tube is used because it transmits heat inside, and plant oil is thicker than kerosene, so you have to warm it so that you reduce the viscosity of it, and hence you increase the capillarity of the oil. Laiser So you think that this lantern is more cheaper to use than the kerosene lantern? Mshanga Yes, the lantern is cheaper compared to the kerosene lantern. We did a study on the use of the jatropha oil and the kerosene in the same type of lamp. In jatropha oil, the amount of oil that was consumed in a month was only a litre, but for the kerosene we found that in a month it used three or four litres. And in lighting the lamp, the amount of oil that is used in ten hours, we did a study and found that for the jatropha, only 50 cc went out, while for the kerosene lamp, 180-220 cc of kerosene was used in the same period. So economically, this jatropha lamp seems to be more economical compared to the kerosene lamp. Laiser What also if you compare the smoke which is coming out after burning the oil? Mshanga As you can see here, the jatropha lantern does not produce smoke. There is smoke but the smoke is very small, you can?t even see it or you can?t detect it. Laiser I just want to test it. I have a paper with me. Then I would like to test if it has smoke. Ah yes, I have my paper just close to the lantern, on top of the glass, and, how long was it? But not yet, I cannot see any smoke. So compared to kerosene, yes, it is wonderful. What else would you like to tell the listener, about the price of this lantern? How much is it sold for? Mshanga Currently the price of this small jatropha lantern is 3,500 Tanzanian shillings. But we do encourage in areas where we promote the production of jatropha, we do encourage farmers to produce oil and various other products on their own. So essentially what we do at JPTL, we teach the farmers how to process the oil and also we teach youth in those areas how to fabricate the lamp. So you will find that, even if you see now the prices are 3,500, but farmers can be taught how to fabricate the lamp, and they can fabricate the lamps for themselves and also sell to other householders within the community. And also, by teaching them how to fabricate the lamps, we create some sort of employment to the youth, and we do also conserve the environment by recycling the tins. The other thing is you can produce your energy at a household level. Instead of travelling long distance in search of oil; you know that a lot of villages in our country, the infrastructure is quite poor. Carrying kerosene from town to villages, the price goes higher compared to the oil which can be produced at local level, at household level. And you can have your energy for cooking, for lighting, at your vicinity, instead of going outside and depending on oil from outside, we can have energy at our household level. End of track