, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 2-11
Date: 09 Feb 2008

Pongamia pinnata : An Untapped Resource for the Biofuels Industry of the Future

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Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre is a fast-growing leguminous tree with the potential for high oil seed production and the added benefit of the ability to grow on marginal land. These properties support the suitability of this plant for large-scale vegetable oil production required by a sustainable biodiesel industry. The future success of P. pinnata as a sustainable source of feedstock for the biofuels industry is dependent on an extensive knowledge of the genetics, physiology and propagation of this legume. In particular, research should be targeted to maximizing plant growth as it relates to oil biosynthesis. This review assesses and integrates the biological, chemical and genetic attributes of the plant, providing the basis for future research into Pongamia’s role in an emerging industry.