Goodyear will make tyres out of dandelions | Top Gear
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Saturday 3rd December
Future Tech

Goodyear will make tyres out of dandelions

An idea that *stems* from developing a US-grown rubber source

Published: 08 Apr 2022
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Goodyear has announced it is developing a source of natural rubber derived from dandelions that it can use for its tyres. Yes, dandelions. Flowers. Tyres made of out flowers.

The idea stems from a desire to develop a US-based source of natural rubber; the company says currently, 90 per cent of the world’s rubber is sourced from tropical locations. So Goodyear will, together with the US DoD (that's Department of Defense, not a newly-formed Department of Dandelions sadly) and others, work with a company called Farmed Materials to harvest dandelions.

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Why dandelions? It was a root and branch approach that analysed over 2,500 plants to find any with materials suitable enough to use for tyres. Turns out a species of dandelion known as TK (taraxacum kok-saghyz, pictured above) could be a useful alternative to natural rubber trees.

Indeed, rubber trees are said to take seven years to produce the latex needed for rubber production. Dandelions can do it in six months, are resilient and can grow in temperate climates. First tests will be to use this new natural rubber for military aircraft tyres.

But if this budding idea blooms, Goodyear reckons we’ll all be able to put the... petal to the metal.

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