Benefits

Russian Dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz or TKS) makes rubber identical to that from the rubber tree.  During WW II, it was cultivated in 42 states (and the Soviet Union) as an emergency rubber source, and it made great tires with superior performance. After the war, however, TKS was abandoned:   Asian rubber plantations were rebuilt, and the era of cheap synthetics from abundant petroleum supplies began. 

With the benefit of 70 years of agricultural and biotechnology advances, the tools are now available to transform Russian dandelion into the world’s most productive and efficient system for manufacturing natural rubber---at exactly the time when the world needs it. The comparison below illustrates why Russian Dandelion will out-compete all other rubber crops.

Rubber Crop Growth Range Harvesting Yields Co-products Capital cost
Dandelion 1 year Temperate Zones Automated root harvesting equipment 1-1.5 tons/acre easily achievable Fermentable sugar syrups: high demand and price Low Capital cost per pound for processing
Rubber Tree 5-7 years SE Asia Wounded trees; hand harvested Currently 0.6 tons/acre None. Mature trees with decreasing production are usually burned Low capital but high intensity of hand labor to transport and process raw latex rubber
Guayule 2-3 years Desert only Semi-automated bush harvesting 0.5 tons/acre is likely maximum; slow growth in desert 90% of dry matter is solid waste (bagasse and resin). Cannot be fed to cattle. Resin is difficult to handle and very low quality. High capital costs in centrifugation to isolate & preserve latex rubber suspensions. Low processing capacity not capable of bulk rubber production

Russian dandelion can be grown faster, over a broader range, and be improved more quickly than any other rubber-bearing crop.    Moreover, it can be processed more efficiently, with less capital, and with higher-value co-products than any other crop. 

Kultevat’s proprietary technology covers all these links on the value chain:  it combines advanced genetic techniques (marker-assisted breeding) to increase critical plant yield traits, along with integrative chemical process engineering to drive down capital and operating costs.  Kultevat will thus be able to mass-produce rubber and fermentable sugar syrups at costs well below current market levels.  This opens $2 billion in near-term markets with potentials for sustained, rapid year-on-year growth of 10%.

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