AMMAN — After three years of experiments, the University of Jordan (UJ) has succeeded in using the jojoba shrub to generate biofuel.

In a joint research project, the university’s renewable energy and chemical engineering departments have developed an oil extraction machine to produce biofuel from the shrub, according to a UJ statement sent to The Jordan Times.

Professor Ahmad Salaimeh, from the research team, was quoted in the statement as describing the project as the first of its kind, which proved that this method can be used on wide-scale commercial and industrial levels.

Salaimeh said the findings of their research will be published within the next few months in international scientific periodicals.

He explained that 40-50 per cent of the weight of the jojoba shrub is pure oil that can be exploited economically to generate bio-fuel.

In a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, on Tuesday Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin was quoted as saying that the ministry has been conducting experiments on the jojoba shrub since 1985.

He added that previous attempts to cultivate the shrub were unsuccessful, except for a 50-dunum plot of land planted with jojoba at the Jordan University of Science and Technology.