MIDAS Project Taps Guayule: A Specialty Crop for bio-based products 

Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) source: wikipedia

Guayule, a specialty crop native to arid regions, holds great potential for producing latex, rubber, and resin. One of the aims of MIDAS is to demonstrate its value, with GUATECS specializing in latex production from guayule plantations established in Southern France and Spain’s University of Castilla La Mancha (UCLM) focusing on resin and rubber extraction from guayule biomass provided by ITAP (Instituto Tecnico Agronomico Provincial) in Albacete. 

UCLM’s Innovative Extraction Process 

UCLM has developed an innovative sequential extraction method which extracts firstly the resin and then the rubber, with the purpose of assuring the highest quality of both products, unlike the currently existing processes which prioritize rubber and treat resins as a byproduct. 

The Power of Guayule Resin 

Guayule resin is a treasure trove of secondary metabolites with potent biological activities. It contains monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, triterpenoids, sesquiterpene esters, organic acids, and polyphenols. These extracts offer protection against termites, agricultural pests, and even act as wood preservatives with their fungicidal properties. Within MIDAS, partners CHIMAR (Greece) and Valbopan (Portugal) will use guayule resin as bio-based coatings for various wood-based panels. 

Guayule Rubber: A Promising Alternative 

Guayule rubber presents a compelling alternative to traditional rubber derived from Hevea brasiliensis, predominantly sourced from Southeast Asia. Its applications extend to car tires, where guayule-based tires can outperform traditional ones in wet conditions. UCLM collaborates with Nokian Tyres (Finland) in developing sustainable tire formulations. 

The work is progressing at full speed, so stay tuned and follow us to see the amazing bioproducts from guayule soon on this page. 

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