Guayule (Y-U-LEE) is a desert plant indigenous to the southwest United States and northern Mexico. The species (Parthenium argentatum) is a new industrial crop and the only species other than Hevea (the Brazilian rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis) that has been used for rubber production on a commercial scale. Guayule needs low inputs of water, nutrients and pesticides — less than many other crops — and can be grown under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions, which dominate a majority of the earth’s climate.
Did you know?
Our production process releases an equivalent amount of carbon back into the atmosphere as was absorbed by the Guayule plants during their growth, making Yulex carbon neutral.
Why is Yulex's bioprocessing technology unique?
Guayule is a natural source of elastomeric materials which are free of antigenic proteins. Yulex’s biorubbers meet the critical performance standards necessary for many medical, industrial and consumer applications and exceeds performance standards of many synthetic lattices.
Yulex’s bioprocessing technology includes aqueous methods for emulsion extraction and product refinement. Our scientists have developed proprietary methods for extracting this emulsion to consistently achieve extremely low protein concentrations. In addition, our proprietary proven commercial farming, harvesting and biotech programs increase the plant’s emulsion yields with faster growing cycles to produce more product for the medical, building, rubber and energy industries.
How is guayule harvested and emulsion manufactured differently than tropical Hevea latex?
The technology involves homogenizing the entire hedged guayule shrub. Rubber is found primarily in the bark and must be released in the processing. Branches are ground, releasing intact rubber particles and creating an aqueous suspension. The suspension is then placed in a centrifuge for separation.. The rubber portion of the mixture is culled off the top (much the same way that cream is skimmed off milk) and purified.
Traditional Hevea latex is tapped from ducts, which are found in a layer immediately outside the cambium of the Hevea tree. The tapper shaves off a portion of the intact section of the bark and then cuts into this layer making certain not to damage the cambium, since that is where the growth of the tree takes place. The Hevea latex then flows and is captured in a cup placed below the cut.
Why is Yulex’s guayule-based biorubbers preferred for the manufacturing of safe natural rubber products?
Yulex’s biorubbers are free from the tropical allergenic proteins contained in tropical, or Hevea, latex and contains less than 2% of its overall protein content. Further, guayule proteins are different than those in Hevea latex and their non-cross reactivity has been well documented. Clinical data suggests guayule emulsion contains no “super sensitizing” proteins like those in Hevea, or peanuts, for example. Therefore, products made from guayule emulsion have been documented not to trigger Type 1 latex allergy symptoms in sensitized individuals.
Yulex’s biorubbers meet high performance standards based on its natural elasticity, tensile strength, barrier protection, durability, and elongation characteristics.