AKRON—Guayule commercialization company PanAridus L.L.C. received its ninth Plant Variety Patent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sept. 10, the same day it shipped its first bale of tire-grade guayule rubber, according to PanAridus CEO Michael Fraley.
“The commercialization of guayule rubber is moving at warp speed,” Fraley told an audience at the International Tire Exhibition and Conference in Akron Sept. 10.
Only two years before at ITEC, Fraley noted, he announced that Casa Grande, Ariz.-based PanAridus was ready to distribute samples of tire-grade guayule rubber to tire manufacturers.
“We're filling orders as fast as we can now, because we've satisfied the main concerns the tire industry previously had incorporating guayule into the manufacturing process,” Fraley said. “They've had their own scientists prove independently of our own findings that our rubber exceeds their high standards, and we can produce it in a measurable and timely fashion.”
Continued agronomic research into guayule is the key to PanAridus' success as a guayule producer, according to Fraley.
“By continuing to diversify our plant varieties, we've overcome yet another obstacle in the 100-year quest to find a sustainable and domestically produced natural rubber,” he said.
PanAridus is a partner and chief guayule rubber supplier in the $6.9 million Biomass Research and Development Initiative program funded by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy. Led by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., the BRDI project includes Arizona State University and USDA's Agricultural Research Service.