none

ECO-FRIENDLY DANDELION RUBBER TYRES TRIALED BY CONTINENTAL

17-08-2015
by 
in 
Words on a tyre. 'Taraxa Gum'.

The WinterContact TS 850 P features a tread made entirely of natural rubber from industrially-cultivated dandelion roots, and it’s taken Continental an important step closer to reaching its long-term goal of making tyre production more sustainable and less dependent on traditional raw materials.

“After several years of intensive development work together with the Fraunhofer Institute, we are excited to be taking the first dandelion tires onto the road,” said Nikolai Setzer, Member of the Executive Board of Continental responsible for the Tyre Division.

“To get the most meaningful test results from the crop yield produced by our research project to date, we decided to build car winter tires, as they contain a particularly high proportion of natural rubber. We are continuing to pursue the goal of developing tyres based on dandelion rubber to readiness for series production within the next five to ten years.” 

Continental has the Contidrom proving grounds north of Hanover at its disposal for extensive tests under summer conditions. However, the first winter car tyres with dandelion rubber ‘Taraxagum’ tread will be tested at Continental’s test site in Arvidsjaur, Sweden, where the company traditionally tests the performance of its future products under winter conditions from December to April.

As a result of extensive research conducted together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), the Julius Kühn Institute, and the plant breeding company Aeskulap, in the past few years good progress toward cultivating a very high-yield and robust kind of Russian dandelion has already been made.

The long-term goal of the research project is to find an ecologically, economically and socially viable response to the increasing demand for natural rubber. This would ease the pressure on the traditional rubber tree plantations in the tropics. Additionally, the aim is to reduce dependency on natural rubber, which can be subject to severe price fluctuations on the commodities exchanges. Moreover, cultivating dandelions on previously unused land in temperate regions of Europe – closer to Continental’s European tire plants – would sustainably reduce logistics costs and the transport-related burden on the environment.

The project cluster being lead-managed by Continental also includes projects funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Nutrition and Agriculture. In May 2014, the RUBIN industrialisation project being funded by Continental was honored with the 2014 European GreenTec Award, an environmental and business prize, in the Automobility category. 

Related news & editorials

  1. 16.11.2018
    16.11.2018
    by      In
    Just in time for the warmer weather, Coates Hire has expanded its alliance with Fanquip with the recent purchase of more Mobile Mancooler units to add to its existing fleet.
    The Australian-made Mobile Mancooler features a heavy pipe frame, heavy-duty lifting hook and large diameter wheels for easy... Read More
  2. 16.11.2018
    16.11.2018
    by      In
    Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are increasingly used in production, warehousing and order picking. Every one must find its way to an exact position quickly, safely and cost-effectively. There have been various technologies in this area, each with its own specific properties, and with each further... Read More
  3. 15.11.2018
    15.11.2018
    by      In
    With so many different welding helmet brands and options available, selecting the welding mask that’s perfect for your specific needs has never been more difficult. But now AWS has made it easy.
    Rather than having to sort through mountains of data, the AWS Welding Helmet Selector Tool matches your... Read More
  4. 14.11.2018
    14.11.2018
    by      In
    ABB has launched the world’s first safety PLC with integrated condition monitoring, in order to improve overall functional safety of various applications to global safety standards and reduce manual inspection and maintenance.
    Failsafe condition monitoring complements standard noncritical... Read More