Continental to Bring Dandelion Rubber to the Road
Continental Tire is working with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) to turn dandelions into tires. The tire manufacturer recently announced that they’re on the verge of a breakthrough with their joint development project, which means they’re a step closer to turning dandelions into rubber for the production of tires.
In recent years, with the aid of state-of-the-art growing methods and optimized cultivation systems, it has been possible to produce high-grade natural rubber from dandelion roots in the laboratory. Work began recently on the construction of a pilot facility that can produce natural rubber by the ton at the Münster site of the IME.
“We are investing in this promising material development and production project because we are convinced that it will enable us to further improve our tire production in the long run,” said Nikolai Setzer, who is responsible for the tire division within Continental‘s Executive Board.
“This is because the production of rubber from dandelion roots is far less weather-dependent than production from rubber trees,” Setzer added. The first test tires featuring rubber compounds made from dandelion rubber are set to be tested on public roads in the coming years.
Photo Credit: Continental