A biobased economy will rely more and more on multi-purpose crops that are cultivated for several end products with different application markets. An example is Russian dandelion, or Rubber dandelion, that produces both rubber (5-15% of DW) and inulin (up to 40%) in its roots. The natural rubber can be used in e.g. the tire industry, and the inulin, a fructose polymer, can be used as feedstock for PEF plastics.
An extraction method for simultaneous extraction of both these plant compounds has been developed in DRIVE4EU by W-FBR and other EU partners. Recently, preliminary data have been produced, suggesting that the two biosynthesis pathways are somehow connected and that increasing the production level of the one could influence the level of the other compound. So far, the main focus has been on increasing the level of rubber in dandelion roots by agronomy, selection and by breeding. Rubber levels could be reached from 4% up to 18% DW. Although natural rubber is a very important feedstock, the second product of rubber dandelion, inulin, is also an important product to make the total production chain economically viable in Europe and to make maximum use of the biomass produced.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/18 → 31/12/18|