Flower Power: Dandelion Tires

Flower Power: Dandelion Tires

Dandelions are widely considered pesky weeds, but they have numerous uses, some of which we are just beginning to capitalize on. Until now, the tire industry has relied entirely on rubber-tree plantations in Southeast Asia for its natural rubber. However, researchers have been working to breed a type of dandelion native to Kazakhstan that yields tire-grade rubber and have achieved per-hectare yields on par with rubber-tree plantations, suggesting the flower is a viable alternative source of natural rubber. It may not be long before dandelion fields begin cropping up across the US and Europe to keep the wheels of the tire industry turning. More… Discuss

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