Continental wants to produce dandelion rubber for future tyres
In times where mass production must reduce pollution and CO2 emissions, Continental is working on a very exciting project that aims to completely rethink the tyre production line.
Dandelion based rubber
As you probably know, the rubber used for all tyre compounds comes from the rubber tree. This tree only grows in tropical regions and requires specific climatic conditions in order to obtain its precious substance. But in the near future, it may also be possible to produce rubber by using other plant based alternatives. The German Fraunhofer Institute and tyre manufacturer Continental have joined forces to work on an extremely promising project: The aim is simple, be able to produce large amounts of rubber from dandelion plants, and use it as a raw material for the tyre industry, on a large scale. The two partners are currently at the pilot project stage and are working with Russian dandelions, considered to be the best variety to produce rubber. If all goes well, the first prototypes of tyres produced using this technique will be presented within five years.
Less pollution, less CO2
Today, this is a considerable challenge for the tyre industry since rubber can only be produced in a tropical climate and often the raw material must be imported from the other side of the world for subsequent processing in plants. Yet, the Russian variety of dandelions can be cultivated almost everywhere, including Europe. If the rubber tree can be replaced as the source of rubber, this would significantly simplify production patterns and would substantially reduce pollution and CO2 emissions caused by transporting rubber from all over the world. Not to mention the savings made by tyre manufacturer.
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