CASA GRANDE, Ariz.—PanAridus L.L.C., a bio-agriculture company specializing in the development of the desert shrub guayule as a natural rubber crop, said it has tripled the size of its research and extraction departments since the first of the year.
The company has also purchased new extraction equipment and begun multiple shifts to meet demand from tire companies seeking to introduce guayule rubber into their compounds, it said.
Heading PanAridus' research department is Bruce King, a 32-year veteran of Dow Chemical Co. The holder of more than 15 patents and author of more than 100 technical papers, King co-invented for Dow a flame-retardant technology for the polystyrene foam industry that won the 2012 R&D 100 award, PanAridus said.
"Our goal is not just to produce quality guayule, but to set the standard for the industry," said PanAridus CEO Michael Fraley regarding the hiring of King and the company's expansion. "Our genetics and our guayule seeds are already the top in the industry, and we're the only guayule grower sharing our samples with independent third-party labs for quality inspection.
"Now with the addition of Dr. King, we'll extend our lead both in the quality of our polymer and extraction technology, becoming the only truly one-stop shop for guayule in the world," Fraley said.