Cooper guayule activities outlined at AAIC meeting
Last week, US-based organisation the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) held its 24th annual meeting; the event’s focus was ‘developing sustainable solutions’, and during the meeting Cooper Tire research scientist Dr. Howard Colvin presented a paper, titled “Securing the Future of Natural Rubber – an American Tire and Bio-Energy Platform from Guayule.”
Colvin’s presentation provided an overview of the US$6.9 million Biomass Research and Development Initiative Grant that Cooper, in conjunction with research partners including Yulex Corporation and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), received in July from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the USDA.
The four-year grant focuses on research efforts aimed at developing enhanced manufacturing processes, testing and utilising guayule natural rubber as a strategic raw material in tyres, and evaluating the remaining biomass of the guayule plant as a source of bio-fuel for the transportation industry. Dr. Colleen McMahan, AAIC President and a member of the ARS team working with Cooper, hosted the AAIC annual meeting. Leif P. Christoffersen, Director of Agriculture and Biomass at Yulex, was also a speaker.
“Cooper is honoured to be a part of the AAIC session, and proud to be recognised by DOE/USDA as an innovative company with the potential to develop a greener and more sustainable tyre technology,” Colvin said. “By partnering with the consortium members, we will significantly decrease the time necessary to bring this technology to commercialisation for the industry. The goal of this effort is to decrease our reliance on off-shore raw materials while creating new jobs for American workers.”