Conti co-winner of award for dandelion rubber development

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(Continental A.G. photos) Continental is counting on the dandelion plant to provide rubber to make tires in the future.

HANOVER, Germany (May 13, 2014) — Continental A.G. is a co-winner of the 2014 GreenTec Award for its work in the development of natural rubber from Russian dandelions.

Conti and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) at the University of Muenster in Muenster, Germany, shared the prize for their collaborative development project, “RUBIN — Industrial Emergence of Natural Rubber from Dandelion,” Conti said.

Project Manager Dr. Carla Recker of Continental A.G. and Professor Dirk Prüfer from the Fraunhofer Institute receive the European environment prize “GreenTec Award 2014” for the “RUBIN” project, which enables rubber obtained from the dandelion plant to be used for tire production.

Carla Recker, project manager and head of materials chemistry in Continental's Tire Division, and Dirk Pruefer of IME accepted the award May 4 in Munich at the start of IFAT, the world’s largest environmental technology trade fair.

Conti and IME are working on industrial development of the Russian dandelion because it is rich in rubber and does not require a tropical climate, Conti said in a news release. The Russian dandelion can be cultivated in temperate regions on land previously thought unsuitable for agriculture, according to the tire maker.

“Dandelion rubber will shorten transport routes to our production sites and enable the growing global demand for rubber to be met without sacrificing more precious areas of rainforest,” said Andreas Topp, Conti vice president of material and process development and industrialization.

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