, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 127-137

Development of Pongamia pinnata as an alternative biofuel crop — current status and scope of plantations in India

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Pongamia pinnata is a leguminous tree known for its multipurpose benefits and as a potential source of biodiesel crop. Its added benefits to grow on marginal lands make it a suitable candidate in agro-forestry. These properties support the suitability of this plant for large-scale production required by a sustainable biodiesel industry. While utilizing these species as a source of biodiesel, there is a further need for research and extensive knowledge generation into various areas of production and utilization. The future success of P. pinnata as a sustainable source of biodiesel will heavily depend on an unlimited feed stock supply. This will call for large-scale plantations of clonal stocks of elite genotypes to encourage afforestation programs coordinated both at the central and state levels to cater to the needs of the biodiesel industry. The success rate will rely on the elite planting stock, propagation techniques, and plantation practices and models in making Pongamia cultivation an economically viable proposition.