DRIVE4EU: Dandelion Rubber and Inulin Valorization and Exploitation for Europe

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details


    Natural rubber (NR) is an essential renewable material for more than 40,000 products essential to building (adhesives, sealants), medicine (gloves, tubing), and transportation (matting, tyres) industries. In many applications NR cannot be replaced by synthetic rubbers. At the moment NR is harvested exclusively from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) of which 90% is grown in South East Asia. Worldwide NR consumption is forecasted to increase significantly. At the moment the EU is completely dependent on imports of NR.
    The successful EU-PEARLS project, which finished in 2012, demonstrated the viability of a new NR producing concept: Russian dandelion (Taraxacum koksaghyz , abbreviated TKS). Not demonstrated in the EU-PEARLS project, but of equal importance in the construction of the TKS business case, is the fact that TKS is also a promising new crop for biomass derived building blocks for the chemical industry via the production of inulin.

    The strategic objective of EU-DRIVE is to demonstrate the economic potential of a European production chain for natural rubber and inulin as building block for green chemicals, using TKS as a dual purpose production platform.
    The main deliverables of DIRVE4EU are: (1) plant genotypes with high root biomass, high rubber and inulin yield, (2) seed batches for agronomic tests and large scale demo field trials, (3) optimized cultivation and harvest methods for TKS, (4) ecological analysis of the gene flow between TKS and wild dandelions, (5) scaled-up and optimised extraction and refinery protocol for TKS NR and inulin, (6) testing and application of TKS NR and inulin in end product uses, (7) demonstration of the economic viability of the TKS production chain for NR and inulin.

    To reach the objective a strong consortium of 8 industrial partners and 5 research organisations from 7 EU countries and Kazakhstan is constructed with a very broad background from bioscience to the rubber industry.
    Effective start/end date1/02/1431/07/18

    Research Output

    An environmental assessment of biorefining of rubber dandelion to rubber and bioplastic

    Hingsamer, M., Canella, L., Jungmeier, G., van der Meer, I., van Dijk, P., Muylle, H., Kirschner, J., Kappen, F., Gevers, N. & Hruschka, S., 2018, 26th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings. Florence: ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, p. 1103-1105 (European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

    Open Access
  • Drive4EU: afsluitende bijeenkomst wetenschappers paardenbloemrubber

    van der Meer, I. M., 3 Sep 2018

    Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/siteProfessional

    Open Access

    Increased transgenerational epigenetic variation, but not predictable epigenetic variants, after environmental exposure in two apomictic dandelion lineages

    Preite, V., Oplaat, C., Biere, A., Kirschner, J., van der Putten, W. H. & Verhoeven, K. J. F., 1 Mar 2018, In : Ecology and Evolution. 8, 5, p. 3047-3059

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)


    Data from: Increased transgenerational epigenetic variation, but not predictable epigenetic variants, after environmental exposure in two apomictic dandelion lineages

    Preite, V. (Creator), Oplaat, C. (Creator), Biere, A. (Creator), Kirschner, J. (Creator), van der Putten, W. (Creator) & Verhoeven, K. J. F. (Creator), NIOO-KNAW, 19 Feb 2018


    Press / Media

    Fortezza Flower Power racefietsband van paardenbloem

    I.M. van der Meer


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Rubber uit paardenbloemen, ontwikkeld door KeyGene, WUR en Vredestein

    I.M. van der Meer


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Vredestein lanceert banden van paardenbloem rubber

    I.M. van der Meer


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research