Pongamia are one of the few leguminous trees that produce an oilseed. The seeds produced by Pongamia are high in oil content, and the composition of the oil makes it well suited for conversion to liquid fuels, basic chemicals, or high-value molecules. In addition to Pongamia’s ability to obtain nitrogen from the atmosphere, Pongamia have shown drought and saline tolerance greater than many common agricultural crops that make them an ideal choice for the Florida climate.
Our trees are special varieties of Pongamia pinnata, a fast-growing, hardy tree that is native to India and grows all over the world in sub-tropical climates. Pongamia grows robustly on dry, marginal land using its deep tap root and produces a large amount of oilseeds that can be mechanically harvested and processed using existing agriculture equipment. The tree is classified as non-invasive by the USDA.
These trees yield 3 high-valued products: (1) seed vegetable oil that is well suited for conversion in to liquid fuels such as biodiesel and specialty chemicals (2) high-protein de-oiled seed cake suitable for animal feed (3) pods composed of biomass suitable for bio-power production.
Pongamia is a highly profitable, “drop-in” crop for landowners with marginal and stressed lands.
Pongamia trees reach adult height in 4 or 5 years and start bearing seeds at 4 to 7 years. The tree produce 50 to 100 lbs of seed per tree. Assuming 200 trees per acre, and 25% oil per pound the seeds can yield up to 600 gallons of Honge oil per acre.
Pongamia normally grows between 45 to 50 feet in height at maturity and is harvested annually between the months of January and March. The Pongamia is low-maintenance, pest resistant and cold tolerant crop with a lifespan ranging from 40 to 70 years.
Shown above: Pongamia seed pods and nuts
The purple, pink, and white flower tree blossoms produce a pod containing a single nut similar to an almond tree profile. The seeds are non-edible.
The Pongamia Pinnata, is native to Australia and India have long been used for lamp oil, soap, leather tanning, lubricants, erosion control, cattle feed and tribal medicinal remedies. In recent years Pongamia have become a popular ornamental tree in the Miami, Fla area. The canopy and expansive root structure offer an efficient solution for shade, windbreak and erosion applications.
The Pongamia is suitable for introduction on marginal lands or as a replacement crop for areas afflicted by citrus greening or canker. Pongamia restores nitrogen to rehabilitate soil which makes it a good choice for land reclamation projects.
To learn more about the Pongamia or to contract for 2014 contact us today.
Pongamia pinnata : An Untapped Resource for the Biofuels Industry of the Future