Short on natural rubber, China currently imports some 80% of the rubber it consumes. Now, the country is showing new interest in an alternative rubber made from dandelions. Shandong Linglong Tire Co. plans to invest $450 million to create a new company that will focus on the development of dandelion rubber in the industry.
The tire company recently hosted the 2017 Dandelion Rubber Technology Innovation Forum in partnership with the Dandelion Rubber Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance in Beijing, China. The forum focused on innovations in the dandelion industry, the company says, "aiming at accelerating the development of China’s dandelion rubber industry."
To that end, Linglong Tire plans to invest $450 million to set up a company tentatively named Linglong Dandelion Science and Technology Development Company. Mr. Wang Feng, chariman of Linglong Tire, noted that the new company would gather various talents to break the bottleneck in the key technology of industrialization of dandelion rubber, making it reach a new level. Besides, Linglong believes the establishment of the new company would also lay a good organizational foundation for the future development of dandelion rubber.
Ecologically speaking, the successful development and application of dandelion rubber would also be good news as it would reduce the use of synthetic rubber in Chinese rubber industry – an argument that just may sway today’s consumers.