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Business

Tire Makers Try New Rubber Sources

by Alexander H. Tullo
September 10, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 37

Dutch tire maker Apollo Vredestein has made tire prototypes from natural latex derived from the guayule shrub and Russian dandelions. The prototypes are the results of a $7.5 million European Union initiative to make Europe less dependent on Southeast Asian rubber tree plantations. The Europeans aren’t alone in looking at guayule as a source of rubber. Last month, Cooper Tire & Rubber won a USDA grant for guayule research. And Bridgestone has a project under way in the U.S. to cultivate guayule rubber.

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