A joint development between Bridgestone and Kirin Holdings has been announced, which looks to implement new technologies to improve the productivity of guayule farms and further the use of the plant for production of natural rubber.
The project will combine the guayule cultivation knowledge gained by Bridgestone on its own large scale, guayule seed plant farms, and Kirin Holdings’ proliferation technologies. The project’s goal is to further improve the yield of Bridgestone’s plant facilities, while advancing the sustainable material supply chain for use in tire manufacturing processes. Kirin Holdings biotechnology will be deployed on the farms in an effort to propagate large and stable guayule crops.
Field tests on guayule seedlings will be conducted in Eloy, Arizona, at the 287-acre Agro Operations Research Farm. Alongside these real-world tests, Bridgestone may use the proliferation technology to support further guayule breeding programs in which a specific genotype will be selected for further testing and use in production.
Bridgestone highlights that its first research and development efforts aimed at using the guayule plant began in 2013. Through the harnessing of emerging biotechnologies, Bridgestone aims to further develop alternative and sustainable sources for tire-grade natural rubber to reduce its reliance on traditional rubber sources and reduce the long-term environmental impacts of rubber manufacture.