Botanical: Pongamia pinnata | Hindi: करंज | Marathi: करंज | English: Indian Beech Tree
AboutThe Karanja tree (Pongamia pinnata) is a medium-sized, evergreen tree native to Asia. It features compound leaves with oblong leaflets, small fragrant flowers, and large pods containing seeds. The tree thrives in a variety of soils and is valued for its resilience and adaptability.
Medicinal Uses: Karanja has a history of traditional medicinal use. Its oil is known for antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In Ayurveda, it’s used for skin conditions. The oil contains compounds like karanjin, with potential antiseptic and insecticidal properties.
Environmental Impact: Karanja has environmental benefits. It is a nitrogen-fixing tree, enhancing soil fertility. The tree’s resilience makes it suitable for afforestation projects, aiding in biodiversity and providing habitat for wildlife. Additionally, Karanja oil has potential as a biofuel, contributing to sustainable energy sources.
Anandvan Trivia QuizQuestion 1: Why am I known as “Biofuel crop”?
Answer: Biodiesel is a clean and renewable fuel which is considered to be the best substitution for diesel fuel. When burned, pure biofuels generally produce fewer emissions of particulates, sulfur dioxide, and air toxics than their fossil-fuel derived counterparts. Inedible oil producing plants can be used as biofuel crops so that there is no conflict between food and fuel. Such oil is also much cheaper than edible oil. Karanja (Pongamia pinnata) is a fast-growing deciduous tree that produces a sustainable biofuel crop. It can also produce inedible oil, starch, ethanol, and biogas. The process of extracting biofuel also produces Karanja de-oiled cake that can be used as fertilizer or as a mosquito repellent.