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Newsletter 1/2018


Dear readers,

the FP7 project DRIVE4EU
- Dandelion Rubber and Inulin Valorization and Exploitation for Europe was initiated in February 2014 with a project duration of 48 months. The aim of this demonstration project is to develop a production chain of natural rubber and inulin from Taraxacum koksaghyz (TKS, Russian or Rubber dandelion) and to set up a new European chain for the production and processing of natural rubber. More information at: http://www.drive4eu.eu.

This newsletter will provide you with information on the project DRIVE4EU and the ongoing work, and as well on some past and upcoming events.

With best regards,
The DRIVE4EU dissemination team


Overview of our ongoing work


Planting of 4 hectares of rubber dandelions

In spring/early summer (July) of 2017, ILVO and Rusthoeve planted nearly 4 hectares of rubber dandelions at Rusthoeve in order to produce a large amount of roots to scale up the biorefinery process. In autumn 2017, ILVO and Rusthoeve harvested the fields installed in August/September 2016. These fields were installed on beds, and a small scale potato harvester was used for harvest. Harvested roots were cleaned and dried and handed to the WP 5 and 6 partners in order to produce rubber based products.

Read more about the agronomy and planting of rubber dandelions

Improving root processing and rubber production

In close cooperation, the partners Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, GEA Westfalia Separator Group GmbH and NETZSCH Feinmahltechnik GmbH processed rubber dandelion roots that had been harvested by Keygene early 2017. Specially designed and dedicated washing equipment, decanters and bead mills have been used.

Read more about the biorefinery process and improvements of root processing

Measurements of gene flow using molecular markers

For cultivation, breeding and conservation purposes, the possible gene flow from surrounding apomictict dandelions to TKS, or between asexual dandelion and TKS, represents an essential issue. There are three approaches to investigate if gene flow is a problem: 

1. The analysis of mixed natural populations of Taraxacum koksaghyz and related, sympatric or parapatric polyploid forms to detect possible natural gene flow; 

2. The analysis of Taraxacum flora at, or in the vicinity of, sites of TKS cultivation in the past to look for possible features of gene introgression; 

3. The analysis of TKS crossability with a wide range of polyploid congeners.

Read more about these approaches and the measurement of gene flow by using molecular markers

Market aspects of natural rubber

Currently natural rubber is not produced in Europe so the EU is totally dependent of imports from the natural rubber key production countries. In 2015 the EU imported about 1.2 million tons of natural rubber. 34% of this amount came from Indonesia, 18% originated from Thailand and further 16 % came from Cote d Ivoire. 

Read more about the market aspects with special focus on Europe

DRIVE4EU Article in the Czech Journal RESPEKT Article ″Stalinova pampeliska″

The article, published in the Czech journal RESPEKT (No.48), is featuring the most important issues associated with the alternative natural rubber, including the role of DRIVE4EU.

Read more about the entire article here

DRIVE4EU meeting in Enschede, Germany, 19th 
and 20th September 2017

Bild Enschede1

The 5th progress meeting was held at the facility from Apollo in Enschede, Netherlands from 19th to 20th September 2018. During the meeting the Apollo/Vredestein production site in Enschede was visited, which gave a great impression on tire production.

Presentation of the DRIVE4EU bicycle tyre

Bild Vredestein

This DRIVE4EU product is the first bicycle tyre in the world produced with natural rubber extracted from the roots of the Rubber dandelion. This is why it was named Flower Power.

Read more about the product here.

Upcoming events



Tire Technology EXPO 2018
22nd - 24th February 2018, Hannover, Germany



5th World Elastomer Summit
7th - 8th March 2018, Dusseldorf, Germany



15th - 18th April 2018, Venezia, Italy



2nd Global Bioeconomy Summit
19th - 20th April 2018, Berlin, Germany



EUBCE 2018
14th - 18th May 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark



International Bioeconomy Conference 2018
6th - 7th June 2018, Halle/Saale, Germany



The International Rubber Conference 2018
4th - 6th September 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



ITEC - International Tire Exhibition & Conference
11th - 13th September 2018, Akron, OH, USA



Contacts & imprint


Project Coordinator

Dr. Ingrid M. van der Meer
Phone: 0031317481363

Dissemination Leader

Mag. Maria Hingsamer
Phone: 00433168761421


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