1Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center. P.O.Box 198, Shashemene, Ethiopia
2Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise
3Addis Ababa University, School of Pharmacy
4Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Agricultural and Nutritional Research Laboratories, Ethiopia.
5Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Agricultural and Nutritional Research Laboratories, Ethiopia
6Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy
For determining the fatty acid characteristics and biodiesel quality of Ethiopian Jatropha provenances, the study was conducted in five regions namely Southern Nation Nationalities Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS), Amhara region, Tigria region, Oromia region and Benishangul Gumuz Regions, where physic nut is found abundantly. For each region, representative sampling sites were selected following thorough discussion with head of Mines and Energy at zonal level. During representative sample site selection, one knowledgeable and responsible expert was assigned from the zonal mines and energy office for making the site selection more perfect and easier and thereby to collect representative data from each region. Following this arrestment, a total of 23 Zones, 36 Weredas and 40 sampling sites were considered from five regions of the country for the study. It was observed that the identified constituents of the Jatropha oils are linoleic acid, stearic acid, palmetic acid and oleic acid. From the identified fatty acids, oleic acid was the major constituent followed by stearic acid. The constituents of the fatty acids ranged from 42.8-51.4% for oleic acid, 10.9-19.3% for stearic acid, 10.62-15.91% for palmetic acid and 21.73-25.43% for linoleic acid. The biodiesel quality characteristics of Ethiopian Jatropha seeds were found within the limits of American standard (D874) and European standard (EN 14214 standard). Hence, it can be concluded that the seeds of the existing Ethiopian Jatropha population can be used for the production and processing of environmentally friendly biodiesel.