Extraction of guayule latex in aqueous phase for the production of natural rubber
Hevea is the main, if not almost exclusive, source of natural rubber. Its operations are concentrated in South-East Asia (90% of production, mainly in Thailand and Indonesia), Latin America, and West Africa (mainly Côte d’Ivoire). Knowing that the production of natural rubber represents about 50% of the total rubber production, it is strategic for Europe and other regions of the world to develop an alternative to importing rubber extracted from hevea.
A process has been developed based on the work carried out by CIRAD and ATTM to extract guayule latex. The advantage of the process is that it is extracted in aqueous phase and produces a high quality polyisoprene with a high molecular weight (800,000 g/mol), thus giving it better physico-chemical properties.
In addition, guayule latex is hypo-allergenic, unlike rubber latex.
Guayule latex can be applied in any product that already contains rubber. However, the quality of natural guayule latex and its hypo-allergenic properties make it a good candidate for medical articles (gloves, bandages, adhesives, etc.), industrial gloves, condoms, baby articles. The tyre industry represents the largest market in terms of volume and value, the share of natural rubber used to manufacture tyres is around 40%.