Scientists of Fraunhofer IME and Continental receive award 2015:
In a joint project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, the Department of Biology and Biotechnology (IBBP) at the University of Münster and the tire manufacturer Continental, car tire prototypes made of dandelion rubber have been produced. For their work on the Russian dandelion and its application as a source of natural rubber, Dirk Prüfer and Christian Schulze Gronover of IME and IBBP as well as Carla Recker of Continental receive the 2015 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize today in Wiesbaden, in the presence of German Federal President Joachim Gauck and the Premier of Hesse, Volker Bouffier.
The milky sap of the dandelion shows similarities to that of the rubber tree, and most importantly contains caoutchouc - the raw material for rubber production.
»The plant is extremely resilient, able to grow in moderate climates and even in soil that is not or just barely suited for the cultivation of food and feed crops«, explain scientists Christian Schulze Gronover and Dirk Prüfer.
However, common dandelion – a plant species native to Germany – does not provide enough rubber for being utilized on industrial scale. In order to increase the yield, the researchers have focused on the Russian dandelion that already produces significant amounts of rubber in its roots.
With their team, Dirk Prüfer and Christian Schulze Gronover have identified genes that promote the production of rubber – or impede it, respectively.
Based on these results, they were able to develop plants with higher rubber yields. In addition, they succeeded in extracting several kilos of dandelion rubber with a small pilot processing plant, now building the ideal platform for developing rubber extraction facilities on industrial scale. Together with the tire manufacturer Continental, they developed tire prototypes made of dandelion rubber.
The result is very attractive in both technical and ecological terms: The cultivation of Russian dandelions on marginal soils will not compete with food crops for available arable land and will help to protect tropical rainforests that may be replaced by rubber tree plantations to meet future growing demands for the natural resource.
What’s more, manufacturer Continental has tested the performance of prototype tires under dry, wet and winter conditions. They have proven effective: »The dandelion natural rubber has ideal material properties. The tires are equivalent to those made from the rubber tree«, says Dr. Carla Recker of Continental. – And there are many other possible applications: Whether mattresses, gloves, tape, technical rubber articles or tires – about 40 000 products of our daily lives contain natural rubber.
Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize – about the award:
Since 1978, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft annually honors outstanding scientific achievements. Until now, more than 200 researchers have received the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for solving application-oriented problems. This year, three such prizes of 50 000 Euro each will be awarded, and Prof. Dirk Prüfer, Dr. Christian Schulze Gronover and Dr. Carla Recker contributed to one prize. They will receive their prize at the annual meeting of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft on 9 June 2015 in Wiesbaden.
Sabine Dzuck | Fraunhofer-Institut für Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Oekologie IME
RNA: a vicious pathway to cancer ?
14.08.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Extensive Funding for Research on Chromatin, Adrenal Gland, and Cancer Therapy
28.06.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy