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Maricopa, AZ, United States

Yulex Corporation applies crop science, bioprocessing and materials science for the production of agricultural-based biomaterials made from Guayule . The company’s materials are designed to replace traditional tropical- or petroleum-based rubber in consumer, industrial, and medical products, with the residual agricultural materials utilized as a feedstock for bioenergy. Wikipedia.

Pearson C.H.,Colorado State University | Cornish K.,Yulex | Cornish K.,Ohio State University | Rath D.J.,Colorado State University
Industrial Crops and Products

Accelerated solvent extraction is a relatively rapid automated method for extracting compounds of interest from plant materials. We have developed a sequential solvent extraction method that can be used to accurately quantify the rubber and resin in samples of guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray), a new industrial crop now in commercial production in Arizona, USA. The method assumes that the sample has been dried under suitable drying conditions. The ASE method requires the resin extraction protocol (three 20-min cycles) to be performed first, in gaseous N 2 and at 40°C. Higher temperatures degrade the thermolabile rubber made by guayule to acetone soluble fragments. Thus, acetone temperatures above 40°C overestimate the resin fraction and underestimate the rubber fraction in the samples being analyzed. Following removal of the resin fraction, samples are then extracted with either cyclohexane or hexane at 140°C. Cooler temperatures do not fully solubilize the high molecular weight guayule rubber in the three 20-min cycles. Quantification of the two extracted analytes can be performed gravimetrically, as we did in this paper, or using spectrophotometric methods. Although this high rubber extraction temperature results in good rubber quantification, the partial degradation that occurs prevents accurate molecular weight determination. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Cornish K.,Yulex | Pearson C.H.,Colorado State University | Rath D.J.,Colorado State University
Industrial Crops and Products

To accurately quantify secondary products in plant materials, using solvent extraction, harvested plant materials must be dried and ground without altering the amount and, preferably, the composition of the compounds of interest. We examined the effect of pre-extraction drying temperatures and times on the acetone and hexane-extractable components of guayule, resin and rubber, respectively. Drying guayule samples at 50. °C prior to extraction did not alter subsequent extractions of resin and rubber. However, drying temperatures of 75. °C, and above, degraded guayule rubber into acetone-soluble fragments. The total amount of acetone and hexane extractable material remained constant up to 150. °C. However, the acetone and hexane soluble materials were progressively volatilized at 200. °C. We predict that the sensitivity of secondary products to drying temperatures in not confined to guayule and suggest that plant drying temperatures should be carefully evaluated for their impacts on the quantity and composition of analytes. © 2012. Source

Coffelt T.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Johnson L.,Yulex
Industrial Crops and Products

Commercialization of guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray) as a source of rubber is receiving world-wide attention as an alternative to Hevea in order to meet increasing demand for natural rubber. As more breeders, agronomists, botanists and other scientists become involved in evaluating and developing guayule germplasm, it is imperative that a uniform set of germplasm descriptors is available. These descriptors are also necessary for use in obtaining plant variety protection certificates. The objective of the current study was to develop a set of descriptors for evaluating guayule germplasm in breeding and agronomic studies as well as identify a minimum set of descriptors to use when time or labor make using all of the descriptors not feasible. Based on the experience of the authors and previous research, a set of descriptors was developed and used to evaluate breeding nurseries of both traditionally and transgenically developed guayule plants. The descriptors were easy to use and required a minimum amount of time per plant, so that a large number of lines could easily be evaluated. The descriptors adequately covered the range of diversity observed in the nurseries evaluated. A set of 14 minimum descriptors is proposed - plant height, plant width, biomass, number of main branches, bark thickness, leaf shape, leaf serration number, dormancy break, flower bud score, 1000 seed weight, rubber content and yield, and resin content and yield. For germplasm protection uses, the full set of descriptors should be used. The descriptors will provide uniformity in comparing germplasm performance across environments. The descriptors will also be valuable to regulatory agencies in granting various plant variety protection certificates. © 2010. Source

Hamilton R.G.,Johns Hopkins University | Cornish K.,Yulex
Industrial Crops and Products

Type I Hevea brasiliensis rubber latex allergy is managed by avoidance, using synthetic and alternative latex (such as Parthenium argentatum, guayule) products. This study investigates the ability of high-dose occupational exposure to guayule shrub/homogenate/latex to induce guayule-specific antibody responses in employees (Yulex Corporation). Participants completed an allergy history/guayule exposure questionnaire and provided annual blood samples from 2006 to 2008. Sera were analyzed for IgG and IgE anti-guayule (protein from homogenate, commercial-grade latex and non-ammoniated total plant proteins) using solid phase immunoassays (negative = IgG < 1 μg/ml, IgE < 1 ng/ml). Guayule-specific IgG antibody (range: 2.0-9.7 μg/ml) was detected in 3 of 16 (19%) highly exposed employees in the pilot plant and R&D/applications laboratory. Antibody levels related to relative cumulative-years (e.g. >3) of reported guayule homogenate/latex exposure. Equivocal IgG antibody responses (1.0-2.0 μg/ml) were detected in 2 of 5 (40%) of administrators with infrequent guayule homogenate/latex contact. No guayule-specific IgE antibody or guayule-associated allergic reactions were detected. We conclude that protein from guayule and in guayule latex can be immunogenic but not allergenic in occupationally exposed workers. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Yulex | Date: 2014-01-30

Embodiments of the invention provide a method of processing natural rubber latex using an extruder including a plurality of process zones by processing coagulant with latex to produce a coagulum and serum. In some embodiments, the coagulant can include an acid, a metal salt, or a mixture of both. Some embodiments can include a coagulum wash stage, and a deresination step. In some embodiments, the extruder can be operated to move coagulum through the extruder to remove at least some fraction of water to form a substantially dewatered coagulum, and a drying step to form a dried coagulum. In some embodiments, a stabilizer such as an antioxidant can be introduced into the extruder, and processed to remain in some fraction in the dried coagulum. Some alternative embodiments include a latex processing method of providing a flow of coagulant, and combining latex with the flowing using an emulsion dispensing bar.

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