Dandelions – new source rubber

Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has entered into a joint research project with US biotech company Kultevat to investigate the potential of utilising Russian dandelions as an alternative source of natural rubber, which may one day replace the conventional source of natural rubber, the rubber tree.
As the global tyre demand rises steadily, SRI has the objective of reducing the usage of fossil resources such as oil and coal, which account for approximately 60 percent of a conventional tyre. The increased use of sustainable natural resources plays an important role.
Currently, around 90 percent of the world’s demand for natural rubber is produced in Asia. As SRI looks to expand its worldwide tyre manufacturing network, it is seeking a more eco-friendly supply due to the serious environmental consequences of the transportation of rubber. In order to achieve this, SRI is examining the potential of Russian dandelions as a new, alternative source of high-performance products on a global scale.
Unlike the rubber tree, the Russian dandelion can be grown in temperate regions, including North America and many other parts of the world. SRI believes that this joint research will promote the greater use of natural raw materials and their production will expand to other regions. Therefore, a reliable, efficient and more environmentally-friendly natural resource can be utilised in production plants around the world, allowing SRI to deliver high-performance tyres for an increasing number of customers with a lower environmental impact.

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