At Continental, the topic of sustainability is high on our agenda.

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Sustainability

Sustainability

Rubber from Dandelions

 

At Continental, the topic of sustainability has been high on our agenda for some time. Experts from a wide variety of fields are working closely together in research and development to make the tyre of the future even more energy efficient and eco-friendly during all stages of its life.


We call into question every tyre component and replace it with more environmentally compatible materials where possible.

One aspect of our activities that has caught the public’s imagination is our “dandelion tyre” which we have named Taraxgum. We are cooperating with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, IME.

Design of the Taraxagum Lab Anklam image


 

The aim of Continental’s long-term Taraxagum project is to provide sufficient natural rubber from dandelion crops, rather than from rubber plantations, for use in the production of two-wheeler, passenger and commercial vehicle tyres, as well as other vehicle parts made of rubber.

The dandelions can even be cultivated on land that is unsuitable for food crops, so that creating “plantations beside the tyre plants” in Central Europe makes both economic and ecological sense. The short transportation distances mean a substantial drop in CO2 emissions; monocultures of rubber trees in rainforest regions can be reduced; given that between 10 and 30 percent of the rubber in a car tyre comes from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), the benefits soon become very clear.

 

 

By 2021 we will have invested almost 35 million euros in the project, moving taraxagum from laboratory to mainstream manufacturing.

We are already making great strides with the development of our specialist Taraxagum lab in Anklam and the launch in 2019 of our first serial production tyre using the taraxagum technology– The Urban Taraxagum bicycle tyre

We have also started to manufacture initial test tyres for cars and trucks. It is clear there is a long road ahead before this technology can be mainstream, however it may well be the start of a very bright sustainable future for tyres.

Download the Case Study "Tyres for the Future - We develop sustainability" here.

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Dandelion Rubber video