Cooper Guayule Efforts Earn U.S. Research Grant - Tire Review Magazine

Cooper Guayule Efforts Earn U.S. Research Grant

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the tiremaker's research efforts on applying guayule-based rubber in tire production.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the tiremaker’s research efforts on applying guayule-based rubber in tire production.

The $6.9 million four-year grant “will focus on research efforts aimed at developing enhanced manufacturing processes, testing and utilizing of guayule natural rubber as a strategic source of raw material in tires, and evaluating the remaining biomass of the guayule plant as a source of bio-fuel for the transportation industry,” Cooper said.

The grant comes from a new inter-departmental effort by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy, which created $30 million in funding for development of technologies and processes for alternative renewable fuels and bio-based products.

“The advanced bio-fuels produced from these projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50% compared to fossil fuels,” the company noted. “Each proposed project must integrate science and engineering research in three technical areas: feedstock development, bio-fuel and bio-based products development, and bio-fuels development analysis.”  

With the grant, Cooper will lead a consortium of companies, universities and the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA to develop guayule technology for future tire procution use. Cooper has already partnered with Yulex Corp. to produce the raw material.

“By partnering with the consortium members, we will significantly decrease the time necessary to bring this technology to commercialization for the industry,” said Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper vice president of global technology. “The goal of this effort is to decrease our reliance on off-shore raw materials while creating new jobs for American workers.”

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