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Yulex Corporation applies crop science, bioprocessing and materials science for the production of agricultural-based biomaterials made from Guayule (Parthenium argentatum). 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. Guayule first emerged as a commercial crop in Mexico the early 1900s through the Continental Mexican Rubber Company, though it ceased operation in 1912. In the 1920s the Intercontinental Rubber Company (IRC) was formed in San Diego, California by the Rockefeller family, though this venture also failed as a result of the Great Depression and increased imports of tropical rubber from Southeast Asia. In the 1930s the United States accelerated its research efforts into polybutadiene and styrene butadiene rubber after significant technological advances were made in Germany with synthetic polymers. Americas supply of natural rubber from Southeast Asia was cut off by the Japanese during World War II. Congress passed legislation to finance the Emergency Rubber Project to develop guayule as a commercial alternative to tropical rubber.

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