Feedstock Development and Production
- Improve biomass quantity and quality through genetics and traditional breeding.
- Develop high-throughput phenotyping to support crop expansion using remote-sensing methods to create interactive databases/tools.
- Deploy superior genotypes of guayule and guar to regional growers.
- Deploy agronomic production practices; identify agronomic information for salinity, herbicide, and nutrients to support production; provide irrigation apps using algorithms to growers.
- Develop soil quality and health knowledge critical to environmental sustainability.
Post-Harvest Logistics and Co-Products
- Evaluate how seasonality, processing, and storage affect product quality, conversion efficiency, and economics.
- Demonstrate feasibility of farm-to-fuel conversion of bagasse
- Identify economic co-products in guayule and guar, e.g., biologically active components.
System Performance and Sustainability
- 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.
- Integrate regionally appropriate metrics and combine results from SBAR-developed data into sustainability models to provide a path to commercialization of biofuels and bioproducts.
- Interface with regional growers to de-risk U.S. production of guayule and guar while evaluating social impacts.
- Develop and optimize system-level logistics models for demand-driven harvesting.
- Train teams of students and teachers with a focus on rural and under-represented groups.
- Develop and disseminate agricultural bioenergy and bioproduct K-12 modules.
- Develop a biofuel certificate program at the university level.
Extension and Outreach
- Produce Extension bulletins and web materials to inform growers of agronomic and irrigation requirements.
- Hold workshops throughout the region on sustainable practices to expand crop production to new rural regions and Native Nation lands.
- Involve youth in internships, 4-H projects and STEM summer camps..