The history of biofuel production in Africa is marked with expensive and damaging failures.
The much-hyped jatropha crop saw millions of dollars and vast tracts of land squandered, while the production of palm oil has been widely criticized for association with environmental damage and human rights abuses.
But there is a new hope for the field. The Croton megalocarpus tree is common throughout much of East and Central Africa, and until now it has been used for little more than firewood.
The nuts of the tree have been shown to contain high concentrations of oil and protein, and they are now being used to produce a fuel that could serve as a clean alternative to diesel.
With an abundant supply of croton nuts available at minimal cost, a new industry is emerging with sky-high ambitions.