Dandeliion – Enzyme = Tyre

Dandeliion - Enzyme = Tyre
Date:1 February 2010 Tags:

Scorned as a weed, the dandelion is a potential source of natural rubber, according to scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute in Munich, Germany. The white liquid that seeps from a broken dandelion stalk is natural latex, but the sap is ill-suited for industrial use because it immediately begins to harden. The researchers identifi ed an enzyme in the plant that causes this rapid polymerisation and found that the sap can produce five times more latex if the enzyme is chemically “turned off”.

Dandelions might make an attractive backup as a rampaging fungus attacks rubber trees in Southeast Asia, where the vast majority of the world’s natural rubber is now grown.

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