The essence of Evofuel value proposition to the biofuel market is to supply low cost, sustainable castor feedstock that can be widely produced to address market needs.
Evofuel's first generation castor bean seed products are aimed at displaying high yield under rain-fed conditions and being suitable for large-scale growth and fully mechanized management. Such varieties are expected to be highly competitive with currently available biodiesel feedstock, achieving oil production cost equivalent to approximately US$50 per oil barrel, compared to an equivalent soybean oil price of UD$100-$150 per barrel.
Castor bean is a non-edible, high oil-yielding crop (40%-50% seed oil content) with high tolerance for growth under harsh environmental conditions, such as low rainfall and heat. Castor is produced in more than 30 countries around the world, having over 700 industrial uses, such as chemicals, lubricants and cosmetics. However, castor oil global supply is currently limited - productivity is low and it is traditionally grown and manually harvested, and as a consequence its economics are unfavorable as a biofuel feedstock.
Evofuel is implementing an integrated approach, designed by a team of breeders and agronomists, which combines advanced breeding technologies with modern agro-technique methods to offer growers with a full package of high-quality castor seed and growth protocols of how castor should be cultivated o increase the profitability of the product.
Castor pre-variety Castor field trial in Brazil
Evofuel goal is to address the key challenges of biofuel feedstock:
|Economics : a key to significant reduction of feedstock production costs is by increasing productivity per area while maintaining low inputs - from a current world average yield of 1 ton of grain per hectare, up to 4 tons of grain per hectare.
Four tons of castor grain per hectare represents production costs of $400 per ton of castor oil, which is equivalent to approximately US$50 per oil barrel
Sustainability: Jointly with end biofuel producers, experimental pilots were performed to define product performance and ensure compatibility with market requirements. An example for such effort is a project conducted with NASA (the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration), U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and Honeywell’s UOP (leading international developer and licensor of refining process technology). Through the project, it was demonstrated that biojet fuel produced from castor oil meets ASTM D7566 international standards for alternative aviation fuels.
In addition, according to a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted to assess the environmental impact of castor biodiesel produced, it was demonstrated that castor biodiesel reduces net Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions by over 75% compared with conventional petroleum diesel.