9/16/16 – 5:28 A.M.
A shrub that grows in the southwest could replace Asian rubber used in tires in the future. Cooper Tire and Rubber released a statement Thursday that said the company has reached a milestone in efforts to use rubber made from guayule. The company plans to develop a prototype by mid-2017.
Chuck Yurkovich is Cooper Tire’s senior vice president of global research and development. He says, “We have nearly finished our work on developing guayule-based tire components and have tested these tires to assure a full performance evaluation.” He added the results were promising.
Cooper is hoping the guayule plant can help ?offset an anticipated shortage of Asian rubber in the next two or three decades. Before that can happen, researchers will have to learn how to grow a massive crop of the shrub. The Agricultural Research Service and Cornell University are working on improving the genetics of the guayule plant so it will provide the highest possible rubber yield.Read More →