Last January we mentioned a interesting bit of research that claimed car tyres could eventually be made from dandelions if research into extracting the rubber content of some species of the weed are successful.
Back then we reported that it would be a development that would significantly reduce the carbon footprint of tyre manufacturers because dandelions – unlike oil – are renewable.
Now it’s emerged that Continental has “latched onto” results of the study at the University of Munster into the latex properties inherent in the Russian variety of dandelions.
According to Tyres and Accessories, a research team at the University of Münster subjected the Asteraceae family flower to a number of lab tests and observed they produce a gum elastic equal in quality to rubber tree latex.
Since learning of this discovery Continental reports working hard to promote the idea, and today is a member of a consortium of research institutes and research partners who intend to transform the research results into market products.
Dr Boris Mergell, head of Tyre Material and Process Development & Industrialisation at Continental, said: “This project is of great interest to material development.
“Success in making dandelions a source of natural rubber would enable us to respond at rather short notice to supply shifts. After all, the plant needs only one year from seeding to harvest. From the cutting of the first sod to the harvesting of the latex, setting up a run-of-the-mill rubber plantation requires roughly five to seven years.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office