By Fred Michel, Associate Professor of Biosystems Engineering in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University’s OARDC campus
Natural rubber is a critical renewable resource used for countless products including hoses, car parts and tires. Natural rubber has properties superior to those of synthetic rubber and is required for the most demanding uses, such as airplane and truck tires. Currently, the United States is totally dependent on natural rubber derived from rubber trees grown in Southeast Asia. Growing international demand for natural rubber has led to steep price increases and even shortages. While Ohio is the home to many multinational rubber corporations and rubber production and manufacturing facilities, these companies lack a domestic source for their most important feedstock.
Research at the Ohio State University OARDC is addressing this issue by developing a new crop that can be grown in Ohio and other Northern states to supply rubber.… Continue readingRead More »