TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. hopes new technology it's developed with Japanese beverage producer Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. will boost production of latex from the guayule shrub, one of the alternatives to natural rubber it's pursuing.
The project combines Kirin research into biotechnologies with Bridgestone's guayule cultivation expertise to deliver large-scale propagation of guayule plants from high-quality seeds. With this innovation, Bridgestone aims to increase the productivity of guayule farms and advance sustainable materials for tires through the diversification of the world's natural rubber supply.
Natural rubber production is concentrated in Asia and Africa, but the guayule shrub is native to Southwest America and Mexico, making it a candidate for the supply of latex in North America. There is precedence for U.S. natural rubber production as America cultivated the crop during World War II when Japan had a stronghold on Asian sources of rubber.