The Pongamia or Millettia Pinnata tree
Independent views from the industry
Pongamia of Millettia pinnata
Sub Family: Faboideae
Genus and species: Millettia pinnata = Pongamia pinnata
Common name(s): Pongamia Tree, Indian Beech
Pongamia is a fast growing, drought hardy, evergreen tree that boasts lavender flowers developing into pods bursting with oil-soaked seeds.
Pongamia is native to India and Australia but it can thrive in tropical and sub-tropical climates anywhere in the world.
Through our partnership with US based Terviva we are planting “elite” strains that produce oil that shares the basic properties of other biofuel crops.
As a biofuel crop, Pongamia trees fit into the preferred mold of a non-food crop that requires little in the way of irrigation and pest control, so it can be grown on marginal lands. Pongamia trees are leguminous, which means they fix atmospheric nitrogen and require little to no fertilizing.
Pongamia is considered “native” to India and Australia (Queensland).
Potential growth ranges are on 30 degrees North and South of the equator, in areas consistent with the Holdridge Zones previously identified as “Mediterranean climates” with known citrus production North and South of 30 degrees.
Independent views on Pongamia
These information videos were kindle made available by « The Pongamia Project » based in Australia.
The Pongamia Project is a community engagement activity aimed at educating the public on the benefits of using biodiesel made from Pongamia.
Plant the Future
© The Pongamia Project
A secure energy source
© The Pongamia Project
Characteristics of Pongamia
Pongamia has multiple advantages over any other type of second generation fuel crop:
Proven initial track record and research in India and Australia (native tree)
Is not an invasive weed threat such as Jatropha
Much higher returns in relation to other biofuel crops
Climatically suited to Paraguay (tropical and sub-tropical environment of 25-40 degrees)
Legume creates its own nitrogen
Produces multiple sellable by-products
Sequesters Carbon through tree growth & fuel substitution
Up to 100 year productive life
Can be mechanically harvested with existing nut harvesting material
Direct use of oil in modified engines
Can be converted cost effectively into high quality BioDiesel or 2nd Generation biofuels
A cost effective broad hectare solution
Livestock grazing in well-established plantations with higher stocking rates and better quality pastures due to nitrogen fixation
3 years until first yield, 5 years until maturity, up to 100 years of life time.
Suitable for inter-row cropping during first 3 years of growth
Ideal simultaneous cattle grass land
High annual seed yield (10-20,000 seed per tree)
High (35-43%) oil content in seed
Salinity tolerance up to 2000ppm (equivalent to saltbush)
Elite germ plasma has been identified; clonally propagated
Deep tap root sources water and nutrients well down in subsoil, drought resistant; can make good use of available deep nutrients.
Carbon sequestration via:
soil carbon increase due to nodulation and root growth
displacement when in production at year 6 of fossil fuels and beyond for a further 50 to 100 years
replacement of petroleum based fertilisers
Produces its own nitrogen thereby displacing of nitrates applied as compound fertiliser
Decreased requirement of fertilisers and reduction of cultivation results in lessening of potential soil and chemical runoff into the rivers and streams