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Nirza Fabiola Castro Gonzáles was born on 5th September 1972 in Potosí - Bolivia.
For the last ten years, Fabiola Castro has been working on the subject "Renewable Energy". She wrote her Master thesis on the topic "Offshore - Wind Energy", was employed in Bolivia in the area of environment and would like to work on the sustainable use of Biofuels for her PhD thesis.
Currently, Fabiola Castro is working on her PhD thesis at the University of Hanover in the Institute of Environmental Planning until 2011, on the subject of "Potentials and limits of the sustainable utilization and production of bio-fuels plants in Bolivia, using the German guide pulley in regard to policy and research in the area of bio energy as an ideal support for developing perspectives for bio-fuel made from Jatropha curcas in Bolivia in her dissertation. After completing her Civil Engineer studies in Bolivia, she worked in her home country for several years. She then received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service for post-graduate studies in Germany. The topic of her master thesis was "Design and Dimensioning of Foundations for Off-Shore Wind Parks in Consideration of Cyclic Load". She hopes that a sponsorship from the Reiner Lemoine Foundation, following the realization of her doctorate, will lead to synergies through exchanging ideas with other foundationers doing research on renewable energies. Ms Castro would like to apply her knowledge and her abilities to the development of an environment and climate-friendly fuel made from bio mass in Bolivia and South America, particularly in Bolivia where research on sustainable energy supply is barely developed and hopes her contribution on this area will fill the void.
"Potentials and limits of the sustainable utilisation and production of bio-fuel plants in Bolivia"
The objective of this work is to assess the potential of biodiesel production from Jatropha curcas in the region Santa Cruz in Bolivia under environmental, social and economic criteria.
The worldwide demand of bio fuels has recently been rising significantly although, the demand for food is rising as well and is expected to continue in the following years creating new potential opportunities for developing countries like Bolivia; these opportunities mainly arise from the interest of the agriculture economy to cultivate crops for bio fuel production, but not at the expense of food production. With a sustainable cultivation of fuel crops the basis of Bolivia's own, independent fuel supply is laid and should the occasion arise would offer export opportunities. However, a corresponding increase in the cultivation of crops and production of bio fuel should be ecologically sustainable and socially compatible. For countries like Bolivia with the right climate, enough fields, low population density (7.9 per square kilometer) and susceptibility for crises like food and energy shortage, the sustainable cultivation of fuel crops can be an important factor for economic development.
The potential of Jatropha curcas cultivation is that the crop growing is possible in areas not agriculturally developed or those not having a high importance for conservation. Jatropha curcas is able to withstand aridity and not susceptible to illnesses. It is suitable for eroded soil due to agricultural exhaustion. In the course of the boom of bio fuel production it receives more and more recognition due to containing a high content of oil. Thus it seems to be interesting as fuel crop. Jatropha curcas is native in North America (Mexico), Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua) and South America (Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay). With the assessment of the potential in the example region Bolivia, a sustainable model of bio fuel production in Bolivia will be developed. The thesis contains an analysis of the area to assess its potential for the sustainable cultivation of Jatropha curcas and analyses concerning the suitability of technical facilities for bio fuel production.
The thesis will analyse and address issues such as: Which dimension has the useable potential of fuel crop (Jatropha curcas cultivation) in the selected region? How can this potential of bio-energy be used sustainably and without competition for the production of edibles? What can be expected by Bolivian conditions to biodiesel production from the Jatropha curcas plant? How can a production of biodiesel be operated economically and ecologically sustainable in order to use nature resources sustainably? What kinds of competition between food and energy from Biomass in Bolivian Farming exist?
What can Bolivia learn from leading bio fuel producers like Germany? From the exemplary evaluation of the case study, generalizations whether bio fuel from Jatropha curcas can be a basis for a sustainable traffic system in Bolivia shall be made and discussed.
The methodology of the thesis is based on the assessment of the potential of bio fuel production from Jatropha curcas in a region in Bolivia's lowland (Santa Cruz); for this, the possible conflict potential with food production and conservation against the availability of acreage for Jatropha curcas will be identified by employing an analysis of ecological, economic and social criteria. Parallel to this, a balance sheet between food and bio fuel production will be evaluated for the increased usage of Jatropha curcas for bio fuel production in the example region through the development of concepts to realize that.
The dissertation is supervised by Prof. Dr. rer. Nat. Michael Rode from the Leibniz University Hannover.