Bio-rubber from Russian Dandelion
Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz) proofed to be a suitable replacement for natural rubber in the production of high-quality rubber products such as tyres. When compared to natural rubber, Russian Dandelion has a much greater geographical distribution. It is easier to cultivate and delivers rubber faster.
Residues from the production process can also be valorised for inulin production or be further used for feed, food, biogas, or bioethanol production. The integration of Russian dandelion for rubber production is expected to lead to a higher independence from tropical production sites while creating new opportunities for farmers in lower latitudes, especially for marginal areas that cannot be used for producing other crops. Some of the benefits include:
- New income source due to strong demand of large amounts of rubber
- Easy to cultivate and to harvest
- Faster production of rubber
- Short life cycle (6-8 months), allowing up to two harvests per year
The EU project “Drive4EU”, has calculated an average costs of 45 EUR to produce 1 ton of fresh Dandelion roots, including land, seeds, machines, fertilisers, plant protection, personnel etc, at a time span of 10 years. This cost is estimated to decrease at 31 EUR per ton in a time span of 25 year.