Conti’s Taraxagum project wins accolades at Automechanika.
Work on its ‘Taraxagum – Dandelion Rubber Tires’ project has won Continental both the Innovation and the Green Award at Automechanika 2016. Maria Hanczuch from the Continental Business Development for Passenger and Light Truck Tires business unit accepted the award at the Frankfurt show on behalf of the tyre maker.
“We are delighted to receive these accolades,” said Hanczuch. “Our Taraxagum project demonstrates one aspect of the material development involved in the tyres of the future. We are working both on improving our products’ technical performance and on making the tyre compound and its production process significantly more sustainable.”
This is the latest in a string of awards; the institutes and companies involved in the project have already received a number of internationally-recognised prizes and awards for the advances they’ve made. In 2014, the project received the Green Tec Award and in 2015 the research team was awarded the Joseph von Fraunhofer prize from the Fraunhofer Society.
With Taraxagum – Continental’s name for the rubber it sources from the roots of the Russian dandelion – the company aims to reduce the distance required to ship rubber to its factories, thereby significantly reducing CO2 emissions. As the plants can be cultivated in Northern and Western Europe, long transportation routes can be avoided. These routes previously had to cover the distance from the ‘rubber belt’ in the tropics 30 degrees north and south of the equator. Continental also hopes to become slightly less dependent on developments within the global rubber market.