Russian Dandelion to be a source of natural rubber?

Recent research conducted by Bridgestone Americas to develop a sustainable source of natural rubber has produced promising results, which indicate that the Russian Dandelion can become a commercially viable, renewable source of high-quality, tire-grade rubber. In 2011 Ford announced that it had also carried out research pointing to the Russian Dandelion as a natural source of rubber. 

Bridgestone Americas is one of several collaborators taking part in the Russian Dandelion project led by the Program for Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA) based at the Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Bridgestone’s specific role in the project is to examine the performance of the rubber produced by using natural rubber extracted from Russian dandelion.

Dr Hiroshi Mouri, president, Bridgestone Americas Center for Research and Technology said, "We know that there are more than 1,200 types of plants from which natural rubber could in theory be harvested, but finding one that could practically produce the quality and amount of rubber needed to meet the demands of today's tire market is a challenge.”

Additional testing on Russian Dandelion-harvested natural rubber will be carried out in 2012 at the Bridgestone technical labs in Akron and Tokyo, with larger scale testing to follow in 2014.

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