point Return

The Pongamia Project

The diesel debt shown in the Home and Energy pages, is going to take the longest to pay back. It is proposed to be done by extracting oil from the stand of 700 Pongamia pinnata trees planted on the project site in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Straight Vegetable Oil [SVO] extracted from Pongamia seed maybe used as an admixture of diesel or directly in diesel engines. [Various links to technologies facilitating a Pongamia Extraction and Usage project will be updated elsewhere on this site.]
This page is confined to explaining the outline strategy to clear the diesel debt incurred in implementing the pointReturn project. […contd after the table below]

The total estimated diesel usage for taking the project to self-sufficiency is about 12,000. As the above table shows, by 2030, the project would be producing a surplus of oil. The variables shown may be seen to be moderate. [For those seriously interested in playing what-if games by changing the variables, a copy of the above google spreadsheet can be sent as a .xls file.]
The money values in the table are indicative as a source of income for the pointReturn community. The real value of the Pongamia Project is as a pilot for local energy self-sufficiency. At pointReturn the trees are a part of a biodiverse plantation and they are raised on a land where no food was ever produced.
Additional benefits of the tree are difficult to estimate in money terms. These are:
1- Biomass: The tree generates large quantities of leaf litter
2- Fuel: The oil cake can be used to generate biogas in a digester
3- Charcoal: The shells of the pod can be converted to charcoal or used in a wood gasifier
4- Fertiliser: The oilcake or biodigester slurry constitute a rich fertiliser for plant. The tree is a legume.

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