Dandelion's Tyres ?

Rubber can be extracted from the juice of the dandelion. Yet the decisive breakthrough to industrial manufacturing is proving to be a tough step. The researchers of Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology in collaboration with Continental are building the first ever pilot system to extract vast quantities of dandelion rubber for making tyres. The joint project officially started at the beginning of October. The goal is to develop the production process over the next five years so that Continental can manufacture tyres made from dandelion rubber.
”Through the most modern cultivation methods and optimization of systems technology, we have succeeded in manufacturing high-grade natural rubber from dandelions – in the laboratory. The time is now right to move this technology from the pilot project-scale to the industrial scale. We have found an expert partner in Continental, with whom we now want to create tires that are ready for production“, explains Prof. Dr. Rainer Fischer, head of institute at IME in Aachen.
”We are investing in this highly promising materials development and production project because we are certain that in this way we can further improve our tire production over the long term“, says Nikolai Setzer, the Continental managing director who is responsible for the tires division. ”It’s because the rubber extraction from the dandelion root is markedly less affected by weather than the rubber obtained from the rubber tree. Based on its agricultural modesty, it holds entirely new potential – especially for cropland that is lying fallow today. Since we can grow it in much closer proximity to our production sites, we can further reduce both the environmental impact as well as our logistics costs by a substantial margin. This development project impressively demonstrates that, with regard to material development, we have not reached the end of our potential“.