HANOVER, Germany—For the first time, Continental A.G. is exhibiting truck and bus tires and components made with rubber from dandelion roots at the International Motor Show Commercial Vehicles in Hanover.
Taraxagum is the trade name Conti has chosen for the rubber made from Taraxacum kok-saghyz, commonly known as the Russian dandelion.
At the Hanover show scheduled for Sept. 22-29, the company will exhibit Conti EcoPlus HD3 tires manufactured using Taraxagum rubber in the summer of 2016, as well as a prototype engine mount made from Taraxagum that links the powertrain with the chassis.
The engine mount insulates the structure-borne noise from the engineer, enhancing ride quality and driver safety, Conti said.
Also, Conti will exhibit a Taraxagum intermediate propeller shaft bearing that stabilizes and minimizes the transmission of vibrations to the chassis, the company said.
Conti made a premium winter tire with a Taraxagum tread in 2014, and recently allocated $39 million to build a dedicated dandelion rubber research facility in Anklam, Germany. The company said it plans to introduce commercial Taraxagum products within the next five to 10 years.
“As an agricultural crop, dandelions have the potential to become an alternative, environmentally friendly raw material source, thereby hoping to reduce our dependency on traditionally produced natural rubber,” Conti said in a press release.
“The plants can be cultivated in Northern and Western Europe, which makes transportation routes to the European production sites much shorter and contributes to the sustainable use of existing resources,” the company said.