The interest in using Jatropha curcas L. (JCL) as a feedstock for the production of bio-diesel is rapidly growing. The properties of the crop and its oil have persuaded investors, policy makers and clean development mechanism (CDM) project developers to consider JCL as a substitute for fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, JCL is still a wild plant of which basic agronomic properties are not thoroughly understood and the
environmental effects have not been investigated yet. Gray literature reports are very optimistic on simultaneous wasteland reclamation capability and oil yields, further fueling the Jatropha bio-diesel hype. In this paper, we give an overview of the currently available information on the different process steps of the production process of bio-diesel from JCL, being cultivation and production of seeds, extraction of the oil, conversion to and the use of the bio-diesel and the by-products. Based on this collection of data and information the best available practice, the shortcomings and the potential environmental risks and benefits are discussed for each production step. The review concludes with a call for general precaution and for science to be applied.