Goodyear to Develop Domestic Source of Natural Rubber

Goodyear to Develop Domestic Source of Natural Rubber

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company introduced a multi-year, multi-million-dollar program supported by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and BioMADE to work with Ohio-based farmed materials to develop a domestic source of natural rubber from a specific species of dandelion.

Goodyear says natural rubber has been classified as a strategic raw material that serves as a critical ingredient in military, aircraft and truck tires. Today, more than 90% of the world’s natural rubber is made from latex derived from rubber trees and is primarily sourced from tropical locations outside of the U.S.

According to Goodyear, the program will build on research that analyzed more than 2,500 species of plants but found only a few with properties suitable for use in tires.

Goodyear says farmed materials have shown initial positive results in pilot programs, yielding strong harvests that necessitate the need for additional planting and funding.

While rubber trees typically take seven years to produce the latex needed for rubber production, dandelions can be harvested every six months, says Goodyear. TK dandelions are also resilient and can grow in more temperate climates, such as Ohio.

If additional testing provides promising results, Goodyear says it sees potential for the application of TK rubber to be used in all tire applications.

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