SG Biofuels Launches First Elite Jatropha Cultivar

SG Biofuels said that it has launched its first JMax 100 cultivar, a proprietary cultivar of Jatropha optimized for growing conditions in Guatemala with yields 100 percent greater than existing varieties.

JMax 100 is the first elite cultivar developed through the company’s JMax Jatropha Optimization Platform. The platform provides growers and plantation developers with access to the sequenced genome of jatropha, as well as advanced biotech and synthetic biology tools to develop cultivars specifically optimized for their unique growing conditions.

“The yields and profitability of JMax100 and the JMax platform far exceed what is currently available through existing varieties of Jatropha,” said Kirk Haney, president and CEO of SG Biofuels. “In Guatemala, we have utilized the world’s largest library of Jatropha genetic material and our advanced genetic program to enable exponential increases in productivity and profitability, and establish Jatropha as a large-scale sustainable energy crop.”

SG Biofuels said that JMax 100 increases the profitability of Jatropha to greater than US $400 per acre, which equals more than 350 gallons per acre at $1.39 per gallon.

SG Biofuels will work with a select group of partners and collaborators to optimize JMax for region-specific planting through the establishment of in-region technology centers. In addition to its work in Guatemala, the company is collaborating with the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC) to develop a customized Jatropha cultivar that can be used to meet the high demand for locally-grown renewable fuel.

Jatropha curcas is a non-edible shrub that is native to Central America. Its seeds contain high amounts of oil that can be refined using existing technology to produce diesel fuel, jet fuel, and specialty chemicals. It can be effectively grown on marginal lands that are considered undesirable for other crops.

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