|This article is outdated. (March 2011)|
|Headquarters||San Diego, California, USA|
|Products||Jatropha hybrid seed|
Company history and overview
SG Biofuels (SGB) is a fully integrated bioenergy crop company using molecular breeding and biotechnology to develop and produce elite hybrid seeds of Jatropha as a low-cost feedstock for biodiesel, bio jet fuel and specialty chemicals. With the largest and most diverse library of Jatropha genetic material, SGB is turning the opportunities of Jatropha into reality through a world-class leadership team, leading-edge science and genetics and expertise in agronomy and plantation management.
SG Biofuels was founded in 2007 and is based in San Diego, California.
The company was officially introduced to the public at the 2009 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo in San Francisco, California.
In September 2010, SG Biofuels secured a series A investment of $9.4 million. The funding was led by two privately held companies involved in the development of renewable energy, chemicals and biotechnology: Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, and Life Technologies.
SGB has been named one of the Top 5 Renewable Jet Fuel Supply Chain Companies in the World by The Carbon War Room (2011), one of the Top 50 Companies in Bioenergy for three consecutive years (2009, 2010 and 2011) and the 2010 Feedstock Domestication Project of the Year by Biofuels Digest and one of the Top 200 Going Green Private Companies in the World by Always On.
Jatropha cultivation and research: SGB accomplishments
SG Biofuels grows Jatropha in greenhouses and on plantations in Latin and Central America for sustainable biofuel production and researches methods with which to optimize the Jatropha seeds and growing processes. Jatropha has been growing successfully in tropical and subtropical locations for many years and has been cited as one of the best candidates for biodiesel production because of its high oil content—30 to 40 percent.
The company's research focuses on the domestication and genetic improvement of Jatropha. Areas of focus include increasing oil content per seed, increasing number of seeds per plant, improving flowering synchronicity, and improving pest and disease resistance. The company also researches strains that can sustain colder temperatures for growth in the U.S.
The company's Jatropha Research and Development Center has the world's largest and most diverse collection of Jatropha genetic material. The company's website states that its germplasm library holds over 12,000 unique Jatropha genotypes. Preliminary molecular marker studies indicate that SG Biofuels' Jatropha germplasm collection exhibits on the order of 5 times the genetic diversity observed in a collection of Jatropha from India, Africa, and Asia.
In March 2010, SG Biofuels launched its first JMax100™ cultivar, a proprietary cultivar of Jatropha optimized for growing conditions in Guatemala with yields averaging approximately 100 percent greater than existing varieties.
In August 2010, SG Biofuels and Life Technologies announced that they had completed the genome sequencing of Jatropha.
In August 2011, SG Biofuels (SGB) initiated a program with Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd (BREL), a joint-venture of Bharat Petroleum, India’s second largest petroleum company, to develop and deploy elite hybrids of Jatropha for the production of biodiesel in India.
In September 2011, SGB teamed with JETBIO, leader of a multi-stakeholder initiative including Airbus, the Inter-American Development Bank, Bioventures Brasil, Rio Pardo Bioenergia, Air BP and TAM Airlines, to accelerate the production of crude Jatropha oil as a source for aviation bio jet fuel in Brazil.
Later on that year, in December, SGB was named one of the Top 5 Renewable Jet Fuel Supply Chain Companies in the World, in terms of economic viability, scalability and sustainability. The list is selected by The Carbon War Room, a non-profit organization founded by Richard Branson, and Elsevier, the world's leading scientific publisher.
The Top 5 companies were named as part of the introduction of RenewableJetFuels.org (www.renewablejetfuels.org), the world's first online market information service analyzing the leading companies set to produce commercial scale renewable fuel for aviation.
SGB received the No. 1 ranking for the economic viability criterion, a function of a company’s cost of production, capital intensity and market risk.
- SG Biofuels Cultivates $9.4 Million Series A Investment TechCrunch, 14 Sept 2010.
- Lisa Gibson. SG Biofuels grows jatropha in Latin, Central America Biomass Magazine, 14 May 2009.
- SG Biofuels launches greenhouse for world’s largest jatropha collection Biofuels Digest, 5 August 2010.
- SG Biofuels Launches First Elite Jatropha Cultivar Renewable Energy World, 19 March 2010.
- A comparative study of biochemical traits and molecular markers for assessment of genetic relationships between Jatropha curcas L. germplasm from different countries Plant Science, 24 March 2009.
- Jatropha genome sequencing completed Commodity Online, 25 August 2010.