Global demand for natural rubber is expected to exceed supply by 20 percent by 2020. However, Keygene, a biotechnology firm based in Holland, believes that the latex in dandelion roots can be developed into tires.
Tire manufacturer Apollo Vredestein also sees dandelions as a potential substitute for natural rubber tires. Its collaboration with Keygene has successfully produced prototypes of dandelion rubber tires. Commercial production is targeted within the next five to ten years, and plans are underway to develop a variety of dandelions with higher yield that would better suit industrial processing.
However, experts beg to differ. Most dandelion growers in Europe prefer genetically improved crops rather than genetically modified crops, as the process of natural evolution is merely being optimized to its full speed capacity to give larger plants. Besides, genetic modification is still not accepted widely in Europe.
Would dandelions tires replace natural rubber tires in the future?
Spire Research and Consulting is the leading research consultancy in global emerging markets. Spire's competitive advantage lies in its ability to deliver actionable intelligence on the external business environment in support of its clients’ strategic decision-making in marketing and business development. Spire's clients include 50 Global Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies in 15 countries. For more information, please visit www.spireresearch.com.