Following three years of research, a team of energy, biotechnology and agribusiness veterans today announced the formation of SG Biofuels, a San Diego, CA-based plant oil company specializing in the development of Jatropha as a low-cost, sustainably produced source of oil.
Kirk Haney, President and Chief Executive Officer, introduced the company at the 2009 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo in San Francisco, CA, where he was the featured speaker on Jatropha.
"We're turning the opportunities of Jatropha into reality with a world-class team of scientists and geneticists, deep resources and expertise in Latin American agribusiness and a commitment to sustainable production," said Haney.
SG Biofuels' scientific team, led by Dr. Robert Schmidt, PhD., combines more than 100 years experience in plant molecular genetics and biotechnology, and includes three members of the National Academy of Sciences. The company has assembled the largest and most diverse library of Jatropha genetic material in the world, providing the opportunity to develop the most productive Jatropha strains.
Jatropha curcas is a non-edible shrub that is native to Central America. Its seeds contain high amounts of oil that can be used for a variety of bio-based materials including biodiesel and feedstock substitutes for the petrochemical and aviation fuel industries. It can be effectively grown on abandoned lands that are unsuitable for other crops.
Jatropha oil produced by SG Biofuels has been independently evaluated for its biodiesel qualities and verified to be a clean, stable source of fuel for biodiesel that meets or exceeds strict European specifications. The company's Latin American Jatropha recently out performed palm, soy and Jatropha from India on two differentiating criteria: low temperature performance and long-term storage stability.
The SG Biofuels team includes business veteran Georges Daou as Chairman and Chief Business Development Officer. Daou founded Daou Systems, Inc., and for the past 10 years has chaired and invested in several start ups and invested in well known venture capital companies. Its board of advisors includes Edgar Masri, former CEO of 3Com Corporation, George Peat, former general manager for Kellogg Brown & Root in Saudi Arabia, and Herb Sostek, former President and CEO of Gibbs Oil Company.