Growing dandelions to make rubber

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Scientists have developed a dandelion strain with natural rubber in its roots. The summer weed that invades suburban lawns could be the next rubber tree.
    Researchers are working to improve the weed so that it can be produced fast and efficiently enough to be a sustainable source of rubber.
    Only 10 to 15 percent of the dandelion's roots are rubber, making the crop much less efficient than the rubber trees grown on Southeast Asian plantations. But the rubber trees of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia take years to mature, making it difficult for farmers to react to the ebb and flow of the market and meet surges in demand.
    Rubber tree cultivation isn't the most eco-friendly industry. It's blamed for deforestation in some of the planet's most biodiverse regions.
    Rubber-yielding dandelions could potentially be cultivated in a wider array of habitats, allowing rubber to be produced closer to where it's needed and cutting down on the cost of energy-intensive transportation.
    Tire companies and other businesses are interested in a cheaper, more sustainable rubber source.
    But scientists are still trying to perfect the strain of dandelions -- dubbed Buckeye Gold by its inventors at Ohio State University -- to make it economically viable. Currently, researchers are trying to make the crop less vulnerable to disease and better able to withstand herbicides and pesticides, as well as to improve the process that extracts rubber from the root fibers.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not only the hassle of growing and tending trees, but the growing awareness of the ecological vulnerability of the world's sole commercial rubber source: it's a genetic bottleneck of hyperdomestication, and there are known plagues that have been prevented from crashing the world's economy by geographical isolation only (natural rubber is not wholly replaceable via synthetics yet, including in critical uses such as airplane tires and high performance seals, and a vital resource on a par with the rare earths or even copper).
    Plazma Inferno! likes this.
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  5. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Why not grow them, they are beautiful flowers . Grow them in the deserts in the Indian reservations .
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  7. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    Just as an aside as to their name. In France they are Lion's Tooth, or Dente de Leon. When this was brought to England, it was changed to dan de lion.
    Plazma Inferno! likes this.
  8. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Also known as "pisseenlit" ="wet the bed"
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