Dutch Biotech Firm to Make Car Tires From Hybrid Dandelions

by Morgana Matus, 02/18/13

filed under: automotive, green technology, Green Transportation, News, Sustainable Materials

You see them popping up in your garden, and soon the dandelion may also parked in your driveway. Dutch biotech firm KeyGene has plans to use the latex found in dandelion roots to create a new material for tire production. With global demand for rubber set to outstrip current supply by 20 per cent in 2020, the common weed could become a renewable alternative worth nearly $100 billion a year.

While the dandelion’s roots are too small to be viable for commercial production, the firm plans on developing a new variety using DNA profiling technologies. By crossing a Russian and common dandelion, they hope to beef up the root stock and increase the levels of latex in the plant. The process will involve analyzing different specimens in a greenhouse setting, looking for mutations, and and then isolating the genetic material that improves yield and tolerance to environmental stresses and disease. They do not introduce foreign genes from other species into the crop, preferring to utilize the natural process of evolution, but in a shorter time frame.

Read more: Dutch Biotech Firm to Make Car Tires From Hybrid Dandelions | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

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