Oil seed giant, jatropha developer partner

By Luke Geiver | October 25, 2010
Posted Nov. 10, 2010

The process to develop jatropha seeds into a biodiesel feedstock has taken a step forward. SG Biofuels, a San Diego-based jatropha seed developer and breeder, has joined forces with oil seed giant Bunge Limited. The alliance will utilize Bunge's experience in process development, giving SG Biofuels' existing customers a resource for further jatropha seed development. "Bunge is the largest oilseed processor in the world," said Brian Brokowski, vice president of SG Biofuels. "Their expertise and industry knowledge, combined with their global footprint, makes them the most logical choice to provide processing capabilities to our customers."

Through the partnership with Bunge, Brokowski believes SG Biofuels has now created a fully-integrated model for deploying successful and profitable jatropha plantations. "Bunge brings to the table their expertise in oilseed processing and will work directly with our customers to establish an efficient and effective model for processing jatropha seeds into crude jatropha oil," Brokowski said. And to do so, Bunge will take a region-by-region approach due to the "unique characteristics of each region," according to Brokowski.

"The bottom line is our customers will have direct access to Bunge to develop a processing model that works for their particular project," Brokowski told Biodiesel Magazine. SG Biofuels also has worked with Life Technologies Corp. on a genome sequencing project to identify different jatropha gene characteristics, and has also created a cultivar of jatropha they claim will provide 100 percent greater yields when used in Guatemalan growing conditions.

According to Kirk Haney, president and CEO of SG Biofuels, "The development of a successful market for jatropha requires that all aspects of the value chain are met, from crop science and proper agronomics all the way through processing and refining."
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