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This is an excellent report on Jatropha, but it neglects the last 10 years of research on Jatropha as a fuel crop. The proposal is more of a summary of pro-biofuel literature than it is a feasible proposal for investment. Authors failed to engage with any of the judges feedback from the first round, and the proposal has largely remained unchanged and therefore less persuasive.
Congratulations! Your proposal, JATROPHA - BIO-FUEL FOR AVIATION in the Aviation contest, has been selected to advance to the Semi-Finalists round.
You will be able to revise your proposal and add new collaborators if you wish, from now until 15th June Eastern Time.
We’ve also included ratings and feedback that will be posted to the “Evaluation Results” section of your proposal. Please incorporate this feedback in your revisions, or your proposal may not be advanced to the Finalists round. We also ask that you summarize the changes that you make on the Evaluation tab to help us understand what you have changed. Your proposal will be evaluated on what is on the description tab, so please make sure all new and updated information is included there. As you make revisions, we recommend you save an offline copy as a backup, as the site will log you off after 30 minutes.
The judges have provided the following feedback:
- The benefits of Jatropha have broadly been known for some time know. One of its key advantages was the ability to grow in soil of poor quality, thereby avoiding the impact of reducing soil for food crop. Field results, however, have indicated that Jatropha oil yields are simply not economically feasible growing in poor quality soil, however, the author is correct that yields could be increased by growing in better quality soil and under the correct conditions. The problem then becomes circular, as one then begins to displace food crop yields! It would be interesting to see if the authors have any ideas on how to avoid these plaguing issues or even conduct some simple calculations to estimate the displacement.
- Unfortunately, biodiesel (FAME) cannot be used in jet engines, however there are other processes to produce this (See HEFA technology), so the proposal would have to be altered to incorporate this slightly different approach.
- The economics of Jatropha production have effectively shown that it would be too expensive compared to conventional fuels. What would you tell people that say that jatropha fuels, while technically feasible, are simply "too" expensive? And are there any policies that you think could aid in its uptake?
- One of the judges asked whether it would be better to directly burn Jatropha Oil in order to produce energy rather than converting it to jet fuel. This would increase its net environmental benefit.
At the revision deadline listed above, your proposal will be locked and considered in final form. The Judges will undergo another round of evaluation to ensure that Semi-Finalist proposals have addressed the feedback given, and select which proposals will continue to the Finalists round. Finalists are eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as for public voting to select the contest’s Popular Choice award.
Thank you for your great work and again, congratulations!
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