Yulex Corp and Cooper Tire Receive $6.9 Million USDA Grant

Grant will fund guayule bio-based, next-generation tire development.

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This USDA grant does not only represent an outstanding opportunity to advance guayule science and technology, but offers the opportunity to speed up the process of large scale utilization of guayule in the overall market place.

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) July 11, 2012

Yulex Corporation, as part of a consortium headed by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the company and its consortium partners a $6.9 million grant. This four year grant will focus on research efforts aimed at developing enhanced manufacturing processes, testing and utilization 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.

The grant was a result of a recent joint announcement by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for $30 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes of alternative renewable fuels and bio-based products. The advanced biofuels produced from these projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent, as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Each proposed project must integrate science and engineering research in three technical areas of 1) feedstock development, 2) biofuel and bio-based products development and 3) biofuels development analysis.

Cooper Tire will lead a consortium of companies, universities, and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA to develop guayule technology that would allow for future commercialization opportunities in the tire industry. Yulex Corporation, a leader in guayule crop science and renewable products made from guayule, will be the manufacturer of the material. Other important components of this work include collaborative projects to advance agronomic practices, development of genetic and genomic information, and a life cycle analysis which will document the impact a biomaterial and bioenergy industry will have on the American Southwest.

"We are honored to be recognized by the USDA as an innovative company which has the potential to develop a greener and more sustainable tire technology," said Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper's Vice President of Global Technology. "By partnering with the consortium members, we will significantly decrease the time necessary to bring this kind of technology to commercialization for the industry. If successful, we will be able to decrease our reliance on offshore raw materials while creating new jobs for American workers."

"We are excited to be partnering with Cooper Tire and the other consortium members to support the tire industry," said Jeff Martin, Yulex CEO. "This grant does not only represent an outstanding opportunity to advance guayule science and technology, but offers the opportunity to speed up the process of large scale utilization of guayule in the overall market place".

About Yulex Corporation                            
Yulex Corporation has developed a portfolio of bio-based elastomer products derived from the U.S. grown guayule plant. The Phoenix-based company’s technological innovation is designed to replace traditional tropical or petroleum based rubber for consumer, industrial and medical markets, with the residual agricultural materials utilized as a feedstock for bioenergy. Yulex collaborates with customers to develop and market highly differentiated, premium performance products in an ecologically responsible and sustainable manner. For more information, visit http://www.yulex.com.


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