Castor oil has been used as a laxative since ancient times, but it may assume new importance as a jet fuel in the age of climate mitigation.
A Chinese company, Tianjin Castor Energy, has developed the castor bio-based aviation fuel.
Their technique can produce high yields of fuel that meets international standards.
Moreover, the fuel does not contain sulphur, phosphorus, or heavy metal, and the company claims that its low-temperature fluidity is superior to those of petroleum-based aviation fuels.
Castor oil comes from castor seeds, which contain between 40% and 60% oil.
Castor is indigenous to the southeastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India, but is widespread throughout tropical regions.
The castor crop is so widely available that fuel from it has potential to become a cost-efficient global aviation fuel.
Tianjin Castor Energy has made it onto the Mission Innovation 100 Global High Impact Solutions list of innovators selected for having a climate mitigation potential of over 10 megatons, or having strategic importance for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius.
The 100 high-impact climate solutions were presented earlier this year to representatives of the 24 Mission Innovation (MI) member states, the European Commission, and high profile MI members such as the World Economic Forum, the Bill Gates Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and the World Bank.
Castor fuel is estimated to have potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 13 Mt per year, according to Mission Innovation, a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Commission, seeking to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation and make clean energy affordable and reliable.