Bio-Fertilization Effect on the Productivity and Biodiesel Quality of Castor Plant Oil under El-Salam Canal Irrigation Condition

Reham K. Badawy , Amal M. Omer and Doaa I. Othman

El-Salam canal as a marginal water can be utilized for the irrigation of non-traditional plants such as castor oil plant for biodiesel production .The article aim to maximize yield and oil content of castor plants for production of biodiesel using either biofertilizers or plant growth hormones. Two bacterial strains (Azotobacter chrococcum and Pseudomonas geniculata) of high potential to produce indole acetic acid (IAA) and indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and two synthetic growth hormones (IAA or IBA) were used.

A field experiment, conducted at Baloza Experimental Station, North Sinai which irrigated with El-Salam water, revealed that application of growth hormones (IAA and IBA) or biofertilizer (Azotobacter chrococcum or Pseudomonas geniculata) separately or as mixture had positive effect on all growth parameters of castor plants, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake and total microbial populations in their rhizosphere. The IBA and Azotobacter chrococcum followed by Pseudomonas geniculata recorded the highest plant length, inflorescence weight, plant dry weight, weight of 1000 seeds and oil content. 

 The results revealed that the treated plants with foliar application or biofertilizer separately increased the contents of trace and heavy metals in shoot plants, the combined treatments recorded the highest significant values for most elements studied. At the same time, usage of IAA and IBA mixture and A.chrococcum showed a significant superiority of available heavy metal contents in the soil.

It was observed that the viscosity of all castor oil samples at 250C was extremely higher than that of petroleum diesel, no remarkable variations in the viscosity of castor oil samples was recorded among treated or untreated castor plants. As esterification of three selected castor oil samples was performed, their viscosity reduced and so, biodiesel was produced. Characterization of three biodiesel samples revealed that only flash and cloud point conformed to the standard ranges, while viscosity, carbon residue and heat resistance exceeded the standards of biodiesel. It is recommended to blend the biodiesel obtained with other diesel to minimize the viscosity of fuel.


Keyword: El-Salam irrigation water, Castor plant, Biodiesel, Biofertilizer, Azotobacter chrococcum, Pseudomonas geniculata,  Foliar application,  Heavy metals.