Variations in Physical Characteristics and Oil Content of Jatropha Curcas at Five Agro-Ecologies of Nigeria
Oil from Jatropha curcas is useful for medicinal and veterinary and industrial purposes, as insecticide, soap making oil and biodiesel. This experiment was conducted to determine the variation in physical characteristics, oil content and some nutrient compositions of J. curcas seeds from five agro-ecological zones in Nigeria. Samples of J. curcas were collected from the five agro-ecologies (Asa from Iwo, Ibadan; Ex-Kwagiri from Kaduna; Egbe from Ekiti; Ex-Dala from Kano and Ex-Mbat Daya from Bauchi) in Nigeria, the physical characteristictic, oil t and nutrient contents were determined. The results showed that there was variation among the Jatropha samples from different locations in Nigeria in their oil content and nutrient content of their shells. Seeds from Asa in Iwo, Ibadan recorded the highest oil value. The level of nutrients in shell also varied, with seeds from Egbe having the highest percentage of nitrogen followed by Asa from Iwo, which happened to posses the highest phosphorus value as well. Ex-kwagiri from Kaduna contained the highest level of potassium in the shell.
Keywords: Jatropha curcas, biodiesel, oil, agro-ecologies, Nigeria