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Newsletter 2/2016


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.

The DRIVE4EU team whishes you all a Merry Christmas and a successful new year!

King John was not a good man,
Next morning when the sun
Rose up to tell a waiting world
That Christmas had begun,
And people seized their stockings,
And opened them with glee,
And crackers, toys and games appeared,
And lips with sticky sweets were smeared,
King John said grimly: As I feared,
Nothing again for me!

I did want crackers,
And I did want candy;
I know a box of chocolates
Would come in handy;
I do love oranges,
I did want nuts!
And, oh! if Father Christmas, had loved me at all,
He would have brought a big, red,
dandelion-rubber ball!

From A. A. Milne, King John's Christmas (in a slighty modified version)

With best regards,
The DRIVE4EU dissemination team


Overview of our ongoing work


Gene flow between Taraxacum koksaghyz (TKS) and other dandelions (recent results and conclusion)

Within WP4 three different approaches were adopted to test the potential of gene flow between TKS and its congeners.
The first step was to find principles and limits of crossability of TKS with various pollen donors belonging to a representative selection of Taraxacum sections from Europe and Asia.
The second approach involved sampling of natural populations where TKS coexisted with other native Kazakhstan dandelions (some of them having been used also in the first approach. At two localities in SE. Kazakhstan, the team sampled TKS growing in mixed stands with other dandelions, agamospermous polyploids.
Finally, the team visited historical sites of TKS cultivation in Europe (Sweden) to look for the evidence of the past gene flow (introgression).

Read more about the the gene flow between TKS and other dandelions

Dandelion car tire presentation at the Bioeconomy Conference Bratislava (BBEC 2016), Slovakia

At the Bioeconomy Conference Bratislava (BBEC 2016), Slovakia a dandelion car tire has been presented on the 17th of October 2016. In the Exhibition Brochure of the conference it has been mentioned that there are several appropriate sites where dandelion can be farmed in Europe. These sites are the north, northwestern, and northeastern part of Europe and marginal or under-utilised land that is not used for food production.

Read more about the presentation and the BBEC 2016 conference

Natural Rubber from dandelion in compounds

The natural rubber out of the roots from dandelion is tested in rubber compounds. With every improvements in the process of natural rubber extraction an increase in the quality of the natural rubber is observed. With the dandelions currently growing in the Netherlands and Belgium, additional testing can be done and the first rubber product prototypes can be developed.

Read more about the natural rubber from dandelion

Strenghts and Opportunities of Natural Rubber from Rubber Dandelion

Part of DRIVE4EU is a survey on the economic viability, technical and non-technical barriers and boosters for rubber and inulin from Rubber dandelion. JR carried out a SWOT analysis to get a lot of information with respect to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of rubber from dandelion. 

Read more about the SWOT analysis

Experiments with sowing pelleted seeds

In 2016, further optimization of the Taraxacum agronomy were undertaken in Belgium, The Netherlands and Kazachstan. We experimented with sowing pelleted seeds on ridges and flat fields. A wide range of herbicides were tested for use in taraxacum fields in order to control weeds during germination and spring growth of taraxacum. We now have herbicides and their optimal doses determined for further optimization of the taraxacum agronomy. We installed in Belgium and The Netherlands over 2 hectares of taraxacum  in order to scale-up the production of natural rubber derived from Taraxacum koksaghyz.

Read more about the experiments with sowing pelleted seeds


DRIVE4EU meeting in Oelde, Germany, 22nd - 23rd November 2016

Bild Oelde

The 4th progress meeting was held at the facility from GEA Westfalia in Oelde, Germany from the 22nd to the 23rd November 2016. During the meeting the GEA Westfalia production site in Oelde was visited, which gave the team a very good overview of their production site.

Upcoming events



Tire Technology EXPO 2017
14th - 16th February 2017, Hannover, Germany



The International Rubber Conference 2017
2nd - 12th October 2017, Cleveland, USA



Contacts & imprint


Project Coordinator

Dr. Ingrid M. van der Meer
Phone: 0031317481363

Dissemination Leader

Mag. Maria Hingsamer
Phone: 00433168761421


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