CHICAGO—Katrina Cornish, an internationally renowned expert on sustainable rubber sources, has joined startup hydroponic dandelion rubber firm American Sustainable Rubber Co. L.L.C. as a scientific adviser.
ASR, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based United American Healthcare Corp., is devoted to indoor agriculture technology to create a domestic natural rubber source from the Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TKS) dandelion.
Cornish currently is Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair of Bio-Emergent Materials at The Ohio State University-Wooster. She also is CEO of her own company, EnergyEne Inc.
In her current activities, Cornish leads a program on alternative rubber production concentrating on the TKS dandelion. Her research also includes bio-based fillers and development of feedstocks from agriculture and food processing wastes.
ASR President Timothy Madden said he was excited to have Cornish as a member of the ASR team, particularly because of her research showing that rubber can be sourced from hydroponic and genetically altered plants.
"Having her as an advisor to our team is a nod to our strategic plan to bring an natural rubber supply to the U.S.," Madden said in a Feb. 28 news release.
As a researcher with the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cornish developed and patented a method of producing hypoallergenic rubber from the desert shrub guayule. She also served as senior vice president of research and development at Yulex Corp., which licensed the USDA guayule patent.
Cornish holds a total of 20 patents and has written more than 250 scientific papers. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.