Workers repair a high tunnel used to grow Russian dandelions on the Wooster campus of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, in this recent shot by CFAES photographer Ken Chamberlain. OARDC scientists are growing, studying, and developing Russian dandelions — also called Taraxacum kok-saghyz, or TKS — as an Ohio-grown, sustainable source of natural rubber (video, 2:22).
Posts Tagged ‘biobased products’
Ohio State’s South Centers in Piketon, part of CFAES, will hold a workshop April 8 on growing and marketing bioenergy crops, including miscanthus and guayule (pictured). Get more details here and here (pdf; check out the list of expert speakers). (Photo: Clarence A. Rechenthin @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.)
The 6,000-square-foot pilot plant in Wooster, Ohio, makes gloves and a variety of other latex and rubber products. This is nothing new in a town and region historically known for rubber manufacturing.
What’s different about the facility is the source of its natural rubber: plants grown in the U.S. rather than the Southeast Asian trees that currently provide all of the world’s supply of natural rubber.
Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee liked what he saw at the factory in Mansfield, which was turning a syrupy mix of biodiesel and crop waste into polyurethane foam. But he was more fascinated by the story of how the plant came to be, in which an Ohio startup transformed a CFAES scientist’s idea into a new green industry and new Ohio jobs. Read the story.
The Program for Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives, which is based at OARDC, the research arm of our college, is featured in “The Bottom Line,” an NBC News blog. The program is trying to turn a special dandelion species into a domestic rubber source.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack blogged on Friday about USDA’s support for a bio-based economy, one that will “help increase business opportunities for farmers and ranchers, and create jobs across our nation.” He’ll visit our Columbus campus this Thursday (June 28), where in part he’ll talk with food scientists in our college about innovations in food safety and in functional foods. Update: His schedule.
Fungal diseases such as Stagonospora nodorum and Magnaporthe oryzae cause significant losses to wheat and rice crops throughout the world. Now a scientist with OARDC (the research arm of our college) is trying to use these bad fungi for good—taking some of their genes to breed bioenergy crops that could make ethanol production cheaper and more efficient. Read more …