MESA, Ariz. (Sept. 24, 2014) — Bridgestone Americas Inc. has opened its Bridgestone Biorubber Process Research Center in Mesa, laying the foundation for the center to start gearing up for pilot-scale production of guayule-based rubber by early 2015 and fulfilling a corporate pledge to shifting its raw materials sourcing to renewable and sustainable by 2050.
The new center is dedicated to research and development of guayule, a desert shrub native to Mexico and the southwestern U.S., as a viable commercial crop producing natural rubber for tires and other products.
Bridgestone executives and Arizona state, local and federal officials were on hand Sept. 22 for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to officially open the biorubber center.
Bill Niaura, director of new business development for Bridgestone Americas, called the opening of the center a “significant milestone” in Bridgestone's efforts to develop a domestic source of natural rubber.
“Through this innovation project and others like it,” he said, “Bridgestone is positioning itself to meet the constant, anticipated growth in demand for natural rubber, while also moving closer to achieving its long-term vision of manufacturing products from raw materials that are fully renewable and sustainable by 2050.”