Dandelions As Car Tires? Researchers Hope So
The news wires are alive these days with all sorts of tips about how to kill dandelions. This one jumped off the page for me this morning, though: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Researchers+hopes+dandelion/4825836/story.html. If researchers at Ford Motor Co., Ohio State and in Germany are successful in their research, the ubiquitous lawn plants could one day be used as a source to manufacture car tires and other rubber-like materials.
And to think my grandmother only used them for wine, salads, fritters or steamed and topped with vinegar or butter . . .
Here’s a good breakdown from Conservation Magazine on the process: http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2010/06/dandelion-tires/. Dandelions as rubber would be tremendous on all sorts of levels, not the least of which is that the rubber plant doesn’t grow well in most regions of North America — meaning we have to import all the raw materials from abroad. And most of the raw inputs for synthetic rubber come from fossil fuels, putting even more pressure on the trade deficit.