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Federal Grant to Boost Bridgestone Guayule Research

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Bridgestone Americas Inc. has been awarded a research grant to advance its use of guayule as a new source of natural rubber for tire production.

Guayule - which is a drought-resistant desert shrub - "shows tremendous potential for advancing the biodiversity of natural rubber sourcing and introducing alternatives to existing crops," says William Niaura, director of sustainable materials and circular economy, Bridgestone.

"This grant will accelerate our efforts to create a sustainable model for growing and harvesting guayule at scale, which we are aiming to do by the end of the decade."

Bridgestone launched its guayule research initiative in 2012 and has a guayule processing and research center in Mesa, Ariz. The company has invested more than $100 million in its efforts to commercialize the plant.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute.

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