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Algae - Food and Feed

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Algae for Pollution Control

Other Novel Applications

Biodiesel from Milk Bush, Pencil Bush Oil as Bio-diesel, Biofuel - Reference & Resources

 Nature gave us oil from algae; perhaps we should try Nature’s way again
Milk Bush/Pencil Bush (Euphorbia tirucalli) as Biodiesel

      The Pencil Bush shrub can grow in arid as well as more mesophytic zones. A large shrub, Euphorbia tirucalli, is used as a hedge in Brazil. The ability of these plants to grow well in dry regions and on land that are not suitable for growing food, and the fact that the oil yield from an Acre could be comparable to or better than many other Biodiesel candidates (an estimate of Oil Yield for milk bush/pencil bush is between 10 and 50 barrels of oil per acre, ie., between 25 and 125 barrels per Hectare )

·         Euphorbia tirucalli from Purdue University

·         Bio-engineering of Crops for Biofuel & Bio-energy (PDF)

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Euphorbia tirucalli from Wikipedia

Euphorbia tirucalli

Conservation status

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Malpighiales

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Genus: Euphorbia

Species: E. tirucalli

Binomial name - Euphorbia tirucalli

Euphorbia tirucalli, pencil tree, or milk bush is a shrub that grows in semi-arid tropical climates. Milk bush produces a poisonous latex which can, with little effort, be converted to the equivalent of gasoline. This led chemist Melvin Calvin to propose the exploitation of milk bush for producing oil. This usage is particularly appealing because of the ability of milk bush to grow on land that is not suitable for most other crops. Calvin estimated that 10 to 50 barrels of oil per acre was achievable.

Milk bush also has uses in traditional medicine in many cultures. It has been used to treat cancers, excrescences, tumors, and warts in such diverse places as Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malabar and Malaysia. It has also been used as an application for asthma, cough, earache, neuralgia, rheumatism, toothache, and warts in India. [2]. There is some interest in milk bush as a cancer treatment.

 In the 1980s the Brazilian national petroleum company - Petrobras - began experiments based on the ideas that Calvin put forth.


^ Haevermans (2004). Euphorbia tirucalli. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

^ Euphorbia tirucalli L. in Handbook of Energy Crops, James Duke

This euphorb-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

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About Oilgae - Oilgae - Oil & Biodiesel from Algae has a focus on biodiesel production from algae while also discussing alternative energy in general. Algae present an exciting possibility as a feedstock for biodiesel, and when you realise that oil was originally formed from algae - among others - you think "Hey! Why not oil again from algae!"

To facilitate exploration of oil production from algae as well as exploration of other alternative energy avenues, Oilgae provides web links, directory, and related resources for algae-based biofuels / biodiesel along with inputs on new inventions, discoveries & breakthroughs in other alternative energy domains such as Solar Wind nuclear, hydro, Geothermal hydrogen & fuel cells, gravitational, geothemal, human-powered, ocean & Wave / Tidal energy.