Note: you should choose roots with a diameter of about 0.5 cm, and break them into pieces of about 3–4 cm in length. Continue grinding the roots until no further brown particles are formed in the powder. The development of tires with rubber made from the dandelion root at Continental has been very promising. As natural rubber production falls short of demand, it’s time to consider alternatives, like the dandelion. You might spot an elastic band, a pencil eraser, or perhaps one of the biggest users of rubber – car tyres. 5 ml of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution (3%). VIEWS. Continental and Fraunhofer Join Forces to Bring Dandelion Rubber to the Roads. Southeast Asia accounts for 95% of global production. What form does the rubber take in dried dandelion roots? The rediscovery began around 2007, when a team of researchers at Ohio State University started exploring dandelion and guayule, a desert shrub native to … 0.57 MB ], Special Issue Research News June 2015 [ PDF  Despite its long-standing use in traditional medicine, there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting the medicinal use of dandelion root. Find out how, by growing this unusual plant yourself and extracting the rubber from the roots. Grind the rubber particles until they stick together (figure 7) and form a piece of rubber about 0.5–1 cm in length (figure 8). Place a piece of dandelion root in a test tube. The Russian dandelion, native to Kazakhstan, was cultivated in the Soviet Union as a domestic source of rubber in the 1930s to 50s, and after World War II to help combat the rubber shortage in Europe. Based on historical precedence and earlier research, the Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz) has been singled out in an international project, DRIVE4EU, of which GEA is a key partner.The collective goal is to develop a reliable chain for production of not only rubber, but also inulin – both of which are used in products from diverse industry sectors. Construc­tion costs for OSU's facility were reduced by designing the plant's process equipment to be skid-mounted and fabricated off site. Taraxacum (/ təˈræksəkʊm /) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, which consists of species commonly known as dandelions. Yet the decisive breakthrough to industrial manufacturing is proving to be a tough step. Before carrying out the two main activities, spark your students’ interest with this starter activity introducing the topic of rubber and the Russian dandelion. The gene editing technique CRISPR-Cas9 has been used to increase the rubber content of Russian dandelion plants. The activities can be carried out by students aged 11–14 or older, in small groups of three or four, and will take about two hours. However, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME were able to identify a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to the natural rubber tree: the dandelion. After one hour, remove the root from the test tube using tweezers. Fungicides still provide at least temporary protection. What are the advantages and disadvantages of dandelion rubber? Note: you should choose roots with a diameter of about 1 mm, and break them into pieces of about 2–3 cm in length. While a number of animal and laboratory studies have been conducted, few have progressed to human trials. Uses and Markets: The root of the Russian dandelion is a source of a high quality latex, used in making rubber, that is comparable to the latex produced by the Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree. Here is what some of the current research says about dandelion root: The whole preparation process will take approximately seven months from February to September, but teachers could use this opportunity to teach students about plants and the requirements for growing them. In this activity, students physically extract rubber from dried Russian dandelion roots to produce a small eraser. May 30, 2019. in Crops. “The dandelion natural rubber has ideal material properties. Natural rubber (NR ) is an important raw material for a large number of industrial products. Extraction of natural rubber from the plant was another challenge. Today, research into the Russian dandelion is growing. Place the test tube in the water bath for about one hour. Finden Sie perfekte Stock-Fotos zum Thema Dandelion Root sowie redaktionelle Newsbilder von Getty Images. You can harvest the roots from August onwards. Rubber is used in so many products because of its unique chemical and physical characteristics. Using the pestle, grind the roots for 5–10 minutes until they become a homogeneous powder (figure 5). During the winter months, the dandelion sloughs off the rubber from the root to the outside and the synthesis is begins again the following spring. Fraunhofer researchers have established the basis for the large-scale production of high quality rubber with Russian dandelion. Natural rubber production is responsible for widespread deforestation, and most of this rubber is used to make tyres. Producing rubber synthetically can help, but it requires the use of crude oil – so it is important to find an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative. Natural rubber is harvested from the Russian dandelions' roots. 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In the 1930’s, Russia produced ~30% of their domestic rubber from 67,000 hectares of this plant. Thus, Dirk Prüfer points out that rubber from dandelion will not replace the actual source, but will compensate the additional demand in the future. Dandelions are modest plants that are an excellent alternative source for a raw material of high demand: natural rubber, the fundamental ingredient in rubber products. 1–2 pieces of dried Russian dandelion root. Dandelions are modest plants that are an excellent alternative source for a raw material of high demand: natural rubber, the fundamental ingredient in rubber products. After two months, transfer the plants into flower boxes. Most natural rubber comes from rubber trees in Southeast Asia, but this source is now under threat from a fungus. The disease now also appears to have taken root in Southeast Asia’s rubber belt. In the dried roots, however, the rubber is a solid aggregate. Place the rubber particles back into the mortar, which should still be slightly wet (figure 6). This was achieved without genetic modification; instead, Dirk Prüfer and Christian Schulze Gronover analyzed the dandelion’s genome and identified suitable DNA markers. Bridgestone and Ohio State University are working together to produce rubber from Russian dandelion roots. A species of dandelion is leading the way towards sustainable rubber. The colour of the sodium hydroxide solution will change from clear to brown, but the solution will remain transparent. Students should wear lab coats and safety goggles. The latex is allowed to coagulate to form rubber and is then carefully rolled off the finger. For their work on the Russian dandelion and its application as a source of natural rubber, Dirk Prüfer, Christian Schulze Gronover and Carla Recker are recipients of the 2015 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize. The Taraxacum species must be grown well in advance, but teachers could grow the plants with students in the spring, and complete the experiment in autumn. 0. In 2010 a study was done on dandelion root and leaf and its effect on rabbits fed with a high-cholesterol diet. The root will now be soft. Alongside the activities, discuss the following questions with your students to teach them about different types of rubber, the properties of rubber, and the importance of sustainability. In this activity, students dissolve the outer, woody material of the dried roots to gain access to the inner net of rubber. cordis. rubber and inulin production from the Russian dandelion, The resting potential: introducing foundations of the nervous system, Science at home: distance learning with EMBL, Cans with a kick: the science of energy drinks. Read more in an article from. Currently, all our natural rubber comes from Hevea brasiliensis, a tree that grows under subtropical climate. Using tweezers, carefully wash the root by dipping it into the water from the water bath. Read More. When the Japanese seized rubber plantations in Southeast Asia during World War II, other countries, including the USA and Germany, started farming the dandelion as an alternative. Natural rubber obtained from dandelions could reduce the dependence on imports from Asia. Why is it important to look for alternative sources of rubber like the Russian dandelion? These challenges make the future of natural rubber production uncertain. The Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecologyw1, based at the University of Münster, and the tyre company Continentalw2 are just two of the organisations working on using Russian dandelion as an alternative source of rubber. Explain its elasticity. The natural rubber tree takes between seven and ten years to deliver the first harvest.”. Relying on natural rubber to meet rising demands is not only unsustainable, but also risky: yields of natural rubber are falling due to a decline in prices, which has resulted in farmers switching to more profitable plantations such as palm oil. Dandelion Rubber from Continental Nominated as One of the Top 3 Projects at the GreenTec Awards 2014. In the dried roots, however, the rubber is a solid aggregate. In the first method, students grind the roots ­into a powder to extract the rubber particles and create their own eraser. Wash out the mortar with some water to remove the woody powder. Having plucked the flower off one of them, I was wondering if the expelling white latex contains rubber.” However, Germany’s native dandelions don’t produce sufficient quantities of rubber for being industrially viable. Plant Root Conveyor. In fields and meadows, the plant must fend off many herbivores, among them cockchafer larvae. 462. What’s more, the Russian dandelion produces inulin (a sugar substitute and potential biofuel) as a by-product. Give each student one dried Russian dandelion root. The plant has the yellow flowers characteristic of the dandelion genus, but the roots contain a higher percentage of rubber than the familiar species of dandelion found in Europe. Now, environmental and economic factors are reviving interest in this alternative raw material. We live in a time when we must reconsider our habits and how we use natural resources. Please login or create an account to be able to subscribe. Note that these threads can rip easily if the root is broken too forcefully. The roots of this dandelion species contain the natural rubber latex (the source for natural rubber used in tires), meaning supply will be steadier and easier to control leading to greater price stability. The natural rubber is extracted over multiple stages. Place the dried dandelion roots into the mortar (figure 4). The tires are equivalent to those made from Hevea natural rubber,” says Dr. Carla Recker of Continental. An elastomer (a polymer with elastic properties, such as rubber) can be stretched to over 100% of its original length without breaking. The TKS dandelion is known for its production of high quality rubber (Beilen, 2007). Ingela Bursjöö, science teacher and science education researcher, Johannebergsskolan Elementary School, Sweden, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental sciences, Design technology, History. In preparation for the following activities, you will need to grow the Russian dandelion plant and harvest the roots to dry. As yet, it has no artificial replacement. Fraunhofer researchers have established the basis for the large-scale production of high quality rubber with Russian dandelion. These are the rubber particles. … These genetic tools could tell already in a very early stage of plant development if a given plant will possess an efficient rubber production. To help students understand more about sustainability and this unusual source of rubber, we developed two simple methods to extract the rubber from the dried roots of the Russian dandelion. In the second method, sodium hydroxide is used to erode the woody parts of the root, and students can stretch out the fine strands of rubber that remain. Soon after its discovery, the Soviet Union began large-scale cultivation of T. kok-saghyz to extract the rubber and end the country’s dependence on imports (see Göbel & Gröger, 2016). SHARES. The article also describes a novel activity using the roots of the dandelion. Researchers have optimized the Russian dandelion to … “Dandelions also have the advantage of growing anually. That’s why the researchers subsequently turned their attention to the Russian dandelion, which produces large amounts of natural rubber. Instruct them to carefully break the root in half so they can see the very fine elastic rubber threads within the root (figure 3). Dandelion Rubber from Continental Nominated as One of the Top 3 Projects at the GreenTec Awards 2014. The woody material of the root will wash away, but if needed, you should remove any remaining tissue using the tweezers until you are left with only the bright white net of fine rubber threads. The genus is native to Eurasia and North America, but the two commonplace species worldwide, T. officinale and T. erythrospermum, were introduced from Europe and now propagate as wildflowers. Cover the root with the sodium hydroxide solution. Göbel M, Gröger M (2017) Alternative Kautschukquellen am Beispiel des russischen Löwenzahns experimentell erschließen. Natural rubber consists of long chains of cis-1,4-polyisoprene (figure 1), each comprising up to 30 000 isoprene monomers. Please contact us via our email address editor@scienceinschool.org. To this end, the scientists developed an eco-friendly technique whereby only the roots are pulverized because the leaves contain very little rubber. dandelion (Taraxacum koksaghyz Rodin) is such an alternative because large amounts of NR are produced in its root system. T. kok-saghyz was discovered in Kazakhstan in 1932 by the Soviet Union in an effort to find a domestic source of rubber. When you break a dandelion root in half, what can you see? Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. Where the Rubber Meets the Dandelion Root New Research into the Viability of Domestic Rubber Production. In order to meet growing demands, producers turn rainforest into agricultural land. By Ian Hodgson 12 December 2012 • 10:56 am . To extend the activities, however, you could chemically detect the double bonds in polyisoprene, for example using bromine, potassium permanganate (Baeyer test) or the Burchfield colour reaction (see Göbel & Gröger, 2017). As you grind the roots, remove any small, globular brown particles in the mortar using tweezers, and place aside on the watch glass. New research is looking into dandelion roots for rubber production. Look around you: what objects can you see that are made from rubber? June 08, 2015. The objective was to find the hypolipidemic (lowering of cholesterol) and antioxidative effects the dandelion might have. With this material in such high demand, scientists are exploring an alternative source of rubber from a particular species of the familiar, but underestimated, dandelion: Taraxacum kok-saghyz, commonly known as the Russian dandelion.
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