Project Objectives

Entering Arizona on I-10 westbound

Feedstock Development and Production

  1. Improve biomass quantity and quality through genetics and traditional breeding.
  2. Develop high-throughput phenotyping to support crop expansion using remote-sensing methods to create interactive databases/tools.
  3. Deploy superior genotypes of guayule and guar to regional growers.
  4. Deploy agronomic production practices; identify agronomic information for salinity, herbicide, and nutrients to support production; provide irrigation apps using algorithms to growers.
  5. Develop soil quality and health knowledge critical to environmental sustainability.

Post-Harvest Logistics and Co-Products

  1. Evaluate how seasonality, processing, and storage affect product quality, conversion efficiency, and economics.
  2. Develop and optimize system-level logistics models for demand-driven harvesting.
  3. Demonstrate feasibility of farm-to-fuel conversion of bagasse
  4. Identify economic co-products in guayule and guar, e.g., biologically active components.

System Performance and Sustainability

  1. Develop a scalable engineering process model for crop production and processing that is coupled with Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to understand the economic impact to rural communities through input-output methods.
  2. Integrate regionally appropriate metrics and combine results from SBAR-developed data into sustainability models to provide a path to commercialization of biofuels and bioproducts.
  3. Interface with regional growers to de-risk U.S. production of guayule and guar while evaluating social impacts.

Education

  1. Train teams of students and teachers with a focus on rural and under-represented groups.
  2. Develop and disseminate agricultural bioenergy and bioproduct K-12 modules.
  3. Develop a biofuel certificate program at the university level.

Extension and Outreach

  1. Produce Extension bulletins and web materials to inform growers of agronomic and irrigation requirements.
  2. Hold workshops throughout the region on sustainable practices to expand crop production to new rural regions and Native Nation lands.
  3. Involve youth in internships, 4-H projects and STEM summer camps..