In a global context in which obtaining new energy sources is of paramount importance, the production of biodiesel from plant crops is a potentially viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Among the species used to produce the raw material for biodiesel, Jatropha curcas
L. (JCL) has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years, due partly to its ability to grow in degraded zones and under arid and semi-arid conditions. The present study evaluates the potential for JCL production under irrigation with non-conventional water resources in abandoned agricultural soils of the island of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain), which is one of the most arid parts of the European Union. JCL growth and productivity are compared during the first 39 months of cultivation in two soil types (clay-loam and sandy-loam) and with two irrigation water qualities: recycled urban wastewater (RWW) and desalinated brackish water (DBW). The results indicate that JCL growth (in terms of plant height and stem diameter) was significantly influenced both by soil type and water quality, with better development observed in the sandy-loam soil under RWW irrigation. Productivity, measured as cumulative seed production, was not affected by soil type but was affected by water quality. Production under RWW irrigation was approximately seven times greater than with DBW (mean ~2142 vs.
). The higher nutrient content, especially P, K and Mg, and lower B content of the RWW were found to be key factors in the greater productivity observed under irrigation with this type of water.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited