TUCSON, Ariz. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing the University of Arizona with a five-year grant worth of up to $15 million to create a center focusing on the mass production of biofuels and bioproducts — including guayule — in the southwestern U.S.
The center, which will be known as the Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions Center, will address the nation's needs for biofuels and bioproducts, strengthen Arizona's bioeconomy and provide training for the next generation of scientists and engineers, the University of Arizona said.
Funding will come from the Agriculture Department's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Among other parties listed as partners for the project is Bridgestone Americas Inc., which operates a Biorubber Process Research Center in nearby Mesa, Ariz.
Other partners include Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, New Mexico State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
The center will focus on the desert shrub guayule, which long has been a focus of research for its rubber and by-products. Also to be studied is guar, a common food additive known as cluster bean.