The Indian company Terasol LABS (which has offices in Brazil and the U.S.) today announced a way to improve jatropha cultivation so that biodiesel-production companies will be able to make biodiesel from the oil-rich plant easier. The COO of Terasol LABS, Guru Natarajan, said in a statement that, "By improving the innate characteristics of Jatropha, Terasol LABS has made large-scale cultivation more feasible and profitable. Innovations include reduction of plant variability within a plantation to synchronization of harvests."
There are a lot of companies out there that are interested in making second-generation biodiesel out of jatropha, as the links below show. Even so, Terasol is not putting all of its seeds in one basket; the company is also working on increasing castor and sweet sorghum yields.

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[Source: Terasol LABS]

Terasol LABS Offers Biodiesel Companies Second Generation Feedstock Strategy Featuring Jatropha Oil

JAKARTA, Indonesia, January 28/PRNewswire/ --

Terasol LABS (www.terasollabs.com), a leading plant biotechnology company focused on the development of Jatropha curcas, Castor and other biodiesel crops, announced its program to increase feedstock production for biodiesel companies through improved Jatropha cultivation, harvesting and purchasing at the JatrophaWorld 2008 conference in Jakarta.

"Terasol LABS has already transitioned Jatropha oil plantations from pilot projects into large scale commercial operations," says Guru Natarajan, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of Terasol LABS and an expert in biodiesel production. "By improving the innate characteristics of Jatropha, Terasol LABS has made large-scale cultivation more feasible and profitable. Innovations include reduction of plant variability within a plantation to synchronization of harvests."

Biodiesel producers are eager to find alternatives to first-generation feedstocks such as canola, hemp, rapeseed, soy or palm oil. Producers' concerns range from shortages due to competition with food and other uses to skyrocketing price of these traditional crops.

"Terasol LABS is committed to providing refiners with feedstock options that make sound economic sense," says Sundeep Bhan, CEO of Terasol LABS. "We are increasing acreage under cultivation in South America and are developing long-term agreements with potential customers and partners in Europe, North America and other parts of the world."

About Terasol LABS

Terasol LABS is a leading plant biotechnology company focused on the development of Jatropha curcas, Castor and other biodiesel crops. Terasol's primary goal is to discover and develop high yielding crops that have increased resistance to disease and pest infestation, deliver cultivars with improved quality, and generate the most bio-energy per hectare of land. Terasol has been instrumental in identifying and developing new elite varieties of feedstock crops optimized for high production under different agro-climatic conditions, economic and social parameters. At Terasol LABS, we have a strong culture of innovation and development. We have developed clonal propagation of Jatropha from global selections through advanced techniques of plant tissue culture development.

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