DRIVE4EU Leaflet here

Wageningen UR
(The Netherlands)
KeyGene (The Netherlands)
Institute of Botany
(Czech Republic)
Project Coordinator
Dr. Ingrid M. van der Meer
[email protected]
Phone +31 31 74 81 363
The project will offer the European Union a unique competitive
advantage because it involves the experts in the field of
biotechnology, breeding, agronomy, extraction & biorefinery,
and product manufacturing of Russian dandelion rubber and
inulin. Most importantly, DRIVE4EU will bridge the gap between
research and the market.
Tereos Syral (France)
GEA Westfalia Separator Group
GmbH (Germany)
Apollo Tyres Global R&D B.V
(The Netherlands)
DRIVE4EU – 'Dandelion Rubber and Inulin
Valorization and Exploitation for Europe',
a demonstration project, that supports the
development of the production chain of natural
rubber and inulin from Russian dandelion. The
objective of the project is to set up a European
chain for the production and processing of
natural rubber and inulin. This will enable the
EU to become less dependent on the import of
natural rubber and at the same time to respond
to the threat of a global rubber shortage.
QEW Engineered Rubber BV
(The Netherlands)
InExCB.KZ (Kazakhstan)
Mitas (Czech Republic)
Rusthoeve (The Netherlands)
ILVO – Institute for Agricultural
and Fisheries Reserach (Belgium)
NETZSCH – Feinmahltechnik
GmbH (Germany)
DRIVE4EU is funded by the 7th
Framework Programme of the EC
Improved agronomical methods for an optimized cultivation
for TKS are developed. Next to the optimized cultivation, best
methods to harvest and store the TKS roots are established.
The quality and as well applicability of natural rubber and
inulin is demonstrated. This will be reached by developing
prototype products from these biomass components.
The main objectives of DRIVE4EU are:
breeding of plant genotypes with high root biomass, high
rubber and inulin yield,
amplification of seed batches for agronomic tests and large
scale demo field trials,
The DRIVE4EU consortium consists of eight industrial partners
and five research organizations from six EU countries and
Kazakhstan. They bring together a wide knowledge and
expertise, from bioscience to product development.
0.01 demonstration of the economic viability of the TKS production
chain for natural rubber and inulin.
DR urr
IV en
E4 t:
testing and application of TKS natural rubber and inulin in
end product uses, and
-P st
EA :
scaled-up and optimized extraction and refinery protocol for
TKS natural rubber and inulin,
Production scale (ton or ha)
ecological analysis of the gene flow between TKS and other,
wild, dandelion species,
IN Fut
DU ur
ST e:
Business driven
production chain
optimized cultivation and harvest methods for TKS,
During this time period, the highest yields achieved
in the U.S. were 110 kg of rubber per hectare,
while in the USSR yields of 200 kg of rubber per
hectare were attained. With the return of affordable
Hevea brasiliensis rubber and the expected future of
non-natural rubber from the petrochemical industry at
the end of World War II, the majority of TKS programs
were discontinued.
■ ■ Seed production capacity
■ ■ Crop acreage
■ ■ Processing scale
■ ■ Market size
ure Y
■ ■ Root yield
DR urr
IV en
E4 t:
A biorefinery process is designed. The biorefinery process
includes and optimally uses all valuable products from TKS
TKS was cultivated on a large scale in the Soviet
Union between 1931 and 1950, as well as in the
United States, the UK, Germany, Sweden and Spain
during World War II. It was used as an emergency
source of rubber when supplies of rubber from
Hevea brasiliensis in South East Asia were threatened.
500 ha
Information about the gene flow and interaction especially
competition between the cultivated TKS and the wild
dandelions is gained.
50 DRIVE4EU will demonstrate the technical and economic
feasibility of the use of Russian dandelion as a production
platform for both natural rubber and inulin. The inulin can be
used as raw material for interesting green chemicals, such as
furan-based polymers. The combination of rubber and inulin
makes Russian dandelion very interesting as a production
Taraxacum koksaghyz
(TKS) is a wild, non­
species, with a relatively
low root mass (the main
source of natural rubber)
and rubber yield.
A TKS plant with higher productivity is created and the new
genotypes are propagated via seeds.
5 At the moment natural rubber is almost exclusively harvested
from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) of which about 90%
is grown in South East Asia. In an earlier EU research project,
EU-PEARLS, also coordinated by Wageningen UR, the potential
of two alternative natural rubber sources was investigated.
This project yielded a simple, efficient extraction method for
Russian dandelion (Taraxacum koksaghyz, TKS) rubber as
well as knowledge enabling significant and rapid advances in
dandelion breeding.
Expected Results
1 Objectives
1 ■ ■ Rubber & Inulin yield
■ ■ Processing cost & purity
■ ■ Total biomass valorisation
3 4 5.0 k€/ha
Crop Quality (€/ha)
prm pbf 14210