Home Feature Moringa: From Medicinal Plant in Yucatán to Aircraft Fuel

Moringa: From Medicinal Plant in Yucatán to Aircraft Fuel

by Sofia Navarro
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Moringa is known as the tree of life or miracle tree, and for several months, it has been highly sought after in Yucatán for its healing properties. However, scientists from the Center for Scientific Research (CICY) saw another potential use for its fruit: converting it into aircraft fuel.

The project was presented during the 2023 Aerospace Fair (FAMEX) and secured second place in the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Mexico-2023 competition.

Dr. Juan Carlos Chavarría Hernández, a researcher from the Renewable Energy Unit at CICY, explained that this plant has the particularity of having a high oil yield. Therefore, its use proves efficient and sustainable for the production of sustainable aviation fuel.

In the case of Moringa oleifera, as it is a plant that can be utilized comprehensively (roots, stems, leaves, etc.), various valuable co-products can be obtained.

What is Moringa?

Moringa oleifera, commonly known as moringa, is a tree that grows in warm climates, specifically in areas below 500 meters above sea level. Originally from India and Pakistan, this species can also be found in Mexico along the Pacific coast and in the Balsas Depression.

Properties of Moringa

Moringa contains essential vitamins for the body, such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin), B-6
  • Folate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc

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