ERJ staff report (TB)
Findlay, Ohio -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and its consortium partners have received a $6.9 million US Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant to research guayule as an alternative natural rubber source.
The company said the four-year grant from the USDA will fund research into manufacturing, testing and using guayule natural rubber, according to a Cooper spokeswoman.
The grant was given out to several different entities including other companies, universities and the Agricultural Research Service to help develop technology related to the future commercialisation of guayule in the tire industry.
Chandler, Ariz.-based Yulex Corp., a.firm known for producing hypoallergenic latex for medical applications from guayule, will process the product for the members of the consortium, which is being led by Cooper.
The grant, according to Yulex CEO Jeff Martin, is an opportunity to speed up the process of large scale utilisation of guayule in the marketplace.
In addition to the guayule, the grant money will be allocated to help advance agronomic practices, along with the development of genetic and genomic information.
There also will be an analysis done to help document the impact the bio-material and bio-energy industry will have on the American Southwest, according to Cooper.
The grant was a part of a larger $30 million grant given out by the USDA and the US Department of Energy to fund research and develop technologies and processes pertaining to alternative renewable fuels and bio-based products.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)