English Abstract

Sustainable Natural Rubber

Hiroshi MOURI
Rubber Consultant, Tokyo, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2021),94(7),223-229 General Review in Japanese

Para rubber tree, the current source of natural rubber is susceptible to disease and has a history of extinction. To make natural rubber a sustainable product, number of efforts are underway to obtain alternative sources of natural rubber. Guayule and Russian dandelion are currently the two strong candidates. Study on guayule, a bush that grows in an arid area has been on and off for many decades. The prohibitive cost of processing rubber always discouraged continuous effort. In 2014, an environmentally friendly pilot plant using solvent extraction technology was built at the outskirt of Mesa, Arizona, with a nearby 280-acre farm. The new facility will not only significantly improve productivity of rubber manufacturing, but also physical properties are equivalent to the current source, para rubber. Another alternative source of natural rubber, Russian dandelion, a weed that grows in a temperate climate was also discussed.

Keywords: Natural Rubber, Guayule, Russian Dandelion, Para Rubber