Daimler, ADM, Bayer to test Jatropha for biodiesel

FRANKFURT, Jan 9 (Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler AG DAIGn.DE has teamed up with Archer Daniels Midland ADM.N and Bayer CropScience BAYG.DE to explore tropical plant Jatropha as a biodiesel fuel, Daimler said.

“Biodiesel derived from Jatropha nut kernels has properties similar to those of biofuels obtained from oilseed rapes. It is also characterised by a positive CO2 balance and can thus contribute to protecting the climate,” the companies said in a statement.

The partners aim to develop production and quality standards for Jatropha-based biofuel. ADM runs several biodiesel refineries worldwide, while Bayer CropScience plans to develop herbicides, insecticides and fungicides for Jatropha plants.

Daimler has already completed a five-year project which demonstrated that Jatropha can be used to make biodiesel. It will continue to explore the interactions between the fuel and engines.

Jatropha, a wild plant, has never been professionally cultivated, the statement said, suggesting the plant could be grown on 30 million hectares of land, especially in South America, Africa and Asia.

“Since Jatropha can be cultivated on barren land, it does not compete for land that is being used for food production, and thus provides farmers with an additional source of income,” it added. (Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Rory Channing)