Linglong Tire makes major advancements in producing dandelion-derived rubber as alternative sources of natural rubber.
Shandong, 22 September 2020 – Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd. (Linglong) has unveiled a new range of bio-based rubber tires, at the 22nd China International Industry Fair (CIIF) taking place in Shanghai.
Developed in partnership with Beijing University of Chemical Technology over the past three years, Linglong utilizes a multitude of sustainable rubber ingredients, including eucommia rubber and itaconate biosynthesis rubber and dandelion rubber. Eucommia ulmoides (EU) gum, a natural polymer material extracted from EU oliver whose components improves tear strength as well as the wear resistance, is conducive to the reduction the rolling resistance of the tread compound and saving energy. Compared with natural rubber tyres, the new tyres is more environmental friendly, and minimised the harm to the tropical rain deforestation.
“As part of our bio-rubber R&D project, we look to flowering weed as a key component of the future of tires, as well as an alternative source of natural rubber,” said Wang Feng, Chairman and President of Linglong. “Currently, natural rubber can only be cultivated from the rubber tree (known as Hevea brasiliensis) which makes up a fraction of the world’s land surface. In face of the rising demand of natural rubber, we are committed to setting the benchmark of sustainability in the tire-manufacturing industry and continuously improve the quality of our product.”
At present, Linglong has invested more than 30 million yuan in the research and development of bio-rubber, including a one-ton pilot production line, and dandelion plantation spanning 42 acres across seven Chinese provinces. Furthermore, its research arm has successfully prepared and launched three bio-based rubber concept tires. The company has in the pipeline to manufacture road tires made from dandelion-derived rubber in the near future.
Chairman and President of Linglong Tire, Wang Feng commented, “We’re developing a new generation of bio-based rubber to address the unsustainable production of synthetic and natural rubber, as well as the shortage of resources. In fact, we are planning to strengthen our research on the technology for water-phase extraction of dandelion rubber, build a 100-ton dandelion rubber production line, and promote broader application of dandelion rubber tires, in line with our sustainability agenda.”
Flower power on a grand scale
Aimed at reducing dependency on rubber trees, especially in Southeast Asia, the tire industry is looking for more sustainable alternatives. While synthetic rubber is one such option, natural sources have remarkable performance qualities in terms of grip and load-bearing ability. In fact, the humble dandelion can be used to manufacture rubber, as it is a plant resource that contains high content of natural latex.
The R&D team at Linglong headquarters aims to extract natural rubber from dandelions, and ferment the remaining waste residue in order to obtain bioethanol – which will help preserve scarce resources and promote sustainability within the tire industry by reducing the amount of synthetic rubber used and carbon emissions produced.
Focus on green product development
Linglong Tire actively participates in nationwide green manufacturing initiatives to develop green products, such the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategic plan which aims to promote harmony between industrial and ecological developments.
Furthermore, Linglong’s research institute has meticulously designed and developed green tires of multiple brands and specifications, with products that feature low rolling resistance, low fuel consumptions and are compliant with EU REACH regulations, US SmartWay certification, Chinese labeling law, China’s low-carbon certification and other relevant requirements.
According to Linglong Tire, these bio-based rubber tires have since completed third-party evaluation from experts to meet the project’s requirements and have the ability to provide performance superior to tires made from traditional materials.