ERJ staff report (BC)
Phoenix, Arizona – Arizona State University (ASU) engineer Amy Landis is to lead a sustainability assessment of the use of biomaterials as feedstocks for rubber production.
The initiative is part of the four-year, $6.9m (€5.3m) Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) project teaming Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Yulex Corporation, ASU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
BRDI focuses on the guayule plant from which latex can be extracted. It holds promise for being a feasible alternative to petroleum-based synthetics.
As well as producing rubber, guayule could be used to make industrial, medical, consumer and energy products, as well as biofuels. Substantial use of the plant might reduce the United States’ dependence on overseas producers for the nation’s rubber supply.
Landis said: “Just because you are using a biomaterial does not guarantee what you do will be a ‘green’ venture. I will be looking at the entire process of creating rubber products, from the agricultural process of growing and harvesting guayule, extracting and processing natural latex, and manufacturing natural rubber tires. The sustainability assessment will evaluate factors such as local impact on the land where guayule is grown and the how cultivation of the crop changes the landscape for the neighbouring farmers.”
This is an external link and should open in a new window. If the window does not appear, please check your pop-up blocking software. ERJ is not responsible for the content of external sites.