Pongamia information

Simon Robertson, over at the Big Biofuels Blog, has put together the following information on Pongamia.

Pongamia bloom

1. It is a hardy blighter and grows well in wet, dry and saline soils. It fixes nitrogen and
its seeds are 30-40% oil, and it’s widely grown in India . (Pongamia’s Journey from Forest to Micro-enterprise for Improving Livelihoods)

2. It is a flowering shrub, like wisteria. (Purdue University Centre for New Crops and Plants Products)

3. It travels under a number of names and is also called Indian Beech,Pongam, Honge, Ponge, and Karanj. (Wikipedia)

4. The British Standards Institute studied it in India in the 1930s and it was proposed as a diesel alternative. (Honge Oil proves to be a good biodiesel)

5. People have transesterified it’s oil into biodiesel with properties close to ASTM diesel standards. (Preparation of biodiesel from crude oil of Pongamia pinnata)

On the surface Pongamia appears to be suited to some Australian soils and climates. The big issue isn’t how to grow it but how to harvest large quantities of the seeds efficiently in Australia where labour is far more expensive than India or China.

Source: Big Biofuels Blog (Thanks for the tip Sreenivas)


9 Responses

  1. […] Оригинал сообщения от Luke Hallam тут… […]

  2. would like to learn more about this tree such as where can i obtain seeds or plants. i have land at chinchilla qld if any one is interested in setting up trials

    • if you travel to childers and go to the main public park near the peanut van,(THE PARK IS ON THE HIGHWAY)there are 4 pongamia trees growing near the main park tables.I know because i used to be the council gardner looking after the park.you can srtike the seeds very easily.i have 5.5 acid loamy soil and the trees i have are doing really well

  3. very interresting, living near Katherine on 50 arc and want to plant them trees as windbrake and for the furure as income. Where do I get seeds from?

  4. It is a fairly common street tree, particularly in Brisbane. So you could collect seeds from there. Some commercial nurseries grow them as well. If you were after large scale plantings I would suggest you contact the Queensland Centre for Integrative Legume Research as they have been doing some trials. As far as growing it at Chinchilla, I would warn you of Pongamia’s sensitivity to frost – I planted two trees about 6 years ago at Nanango and every year they get frosted back to the ground. I guess its a testament to their hardiness that they keep coming back! Not much use though

  5. I’ve seen them survive at -5 degree frosts as long as they are a good breed, and well established.
    http://www.pacificrenewableenergy.com.au has some good info on it.

  6. Hi Ben,

    Thats interesting, could you let me know where those plants were that you observed survive the frosts? I wouldn’t mind collecting seeds and giving it another try out at Nanango. I’ve been trying to collect some frost resistant strains, but it seems a bit hard to really tell with the trees growing here in brisbane (as we don’t really get much frost). cheers

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