Raw material for biodiesel from a wild plant
Stuttgart/Karlsruhe. JatroSolutions, the Stuttgart-based start-up for research on biofuels, has been allocated several million euros by EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG for its breeding work on the energy plant Jatropha. The start-up is financed by EnBW and was established by Professor Klaus Becker, a renowned agricultural scientist from the University of Hohenheim. The company’s current research objective is to stabilise the yields of the oleaginous plant Jatropha, which also thrives on barren soils, using conventional breeding methods with a view to enabling its large-scale cultivation. Countries like India and China have been using Jatropha oil on a small scale as a raw material for biodiesel for years with a view to reducing their dependency on fossil energy sources and improving their C0₂ balance. However, the yields from the wild plant were not sufficiently stable for industrial use to date.
JatroSolutions is now approaching the final milestones on the road to Jatropha’s industrial use: With the help of the first marketable varieties, from 2015 the researchers will demonstrate on a reference farm that the cultivation of Jatropha is not only socially and environmentally desirable, it can also be commercially viable. In doing this, the EnBW start-up will provide impressive proof of the success of its breeding programme. By way of comparison: it took over 100 years of constant breeding work for maize to attain its current strong yields. A particularly exciting market perspective for Jatropha: when refined to form biokerosene, it could even make flying more environmentally friendly.
“On behalf of JatroSolutions GmbH, I would like to thank EnBW for its many years of confidence in our company. This enabled us to develop JatroSolutions GmbH into the leading expert on Jatropha in just a few years. With the additional support now confirmed by EnBW, we aim to further consolidate and develop this position,” says Klaus Tropf, Managing Partner and co-owner of JatroSolutions GmbH.
“EnBW believes in JatroSolutions’ business plan, including its next phase. With regard to market opportunities, based on my own experience of the Energiewende, I believe it is entirely conceivable that aviation will have to reduce its CO2 emissions. Through the purchase of high-quality seed material, bred using expertise developed in Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart-based JatroSolutions has opened a door for itself to the global market,” says Professor Wolfram Münch, Director of Research and Development at EnBW, the majority shareholder in JatroSolutions GmbH.
In the download below you fill find a factsheet about Jatropha.