An Israel-based company has completed three years of field trials turning the oil from castor seeds into a biodiesel feedstock and other uses. Evogene Ltd. announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Evofuel Ltd., finished the testing in Brazil:
The field trials, which were conducted in cooperation with SLC Agrícola S.A., one of Brazil’s largest landowners and leading agriculture businesses, demonstrated strong yield performance of Evofuel’s proprietary castor seed varieties under rain-fed conditions in northeast Brazil, and supported the use of castor seed as a competitive biodiesel feedstock. Moreover, Evofuel’s castor seed varieties have the potential of being highly attractive to the traditional industries currently using castor oil, such as the lubricant and biopolymer industries, which today face the challenge of castor oil price instability.
Based on three consecutive years of successful yield results, Evofuel expects to initiate commercialization of its proprietary castor seeds in 2016, following advanced product development and pre-commercial trials which are targeted to begin next year.
The castor is seen as a rotation crop with soybeans during drier seasons between soybean crops.