Alternative to current rubber tree. This bush/shrub lives in the desert of Mexico and SW US

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I remember reading about guayule over a decade ago. Is there any real need for it?

DB2

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Depends on your definition of “real need”. Does it produce a material that can be used to make a rubber replacement? Yes. Bridgestone made tires from it. Which means it could be a crop grown on non-productive desert-like land all over the southern US (AZ, NM, TX, NV, etc). It could also be counted toward the “US content” of vehicle production for tires and more. So there is an incentive for vehicle makers to want to use it. Plus it creates a significant number of relatively low-skill jobs through the farming and harvesting process–which repeats every three years. Somewhat higher skill levels for manufacturing, but that is already known by Bridgestone.

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Thomas Edison was a friend of Harvey Firestone and into that research for decades. Probably pre WWI but especially as a result of war shortages.

In WWII we developed synthetic rubber. That is still a major factor in the industry. Mostly a petro chemical.

Edison’s place in Fort Myers is full of various species of Ficus trees that he was experimenting with. I believe he started during WW1.

DB2

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