An Environmental Assessment of Biorefining of Rubber Dandelion to Rubber and Bioplastic

Publication from Life
Klimaneutrale Energiesysteme und Lebensstile

Hingsamer M., Canella L., Jungmeier G., van der Meer I., van Dijk P., Muylle G., Kirschner J., Kappen F., Gevers N., Hruschka S.

26th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings. - Florence : ETA-Florence Renewable Energies (European Biomass Conference and Exhibition Proceedings ) - ISBN 9788889407189 - p. 1103 - 1105. , 5/2018

‘DRIVE4EU - Dandelion Rubber and Inulin Valorization and Exploitation for Europe’, a demonstration project, aims at the development of a value chain for natural rubber and inulin from Rubber dandelions. The objective of the project is to set up a new European chain for the production and processing of natural rubber. This will enable the EU to become less dependent on the import of natural rubber and at the same time to respond to the threat of a global rubber shortage. The viability of using Rubber dandelions for rubber and inulin for bioplastics (PEF – Polyethylene Furanoate) production depends on the sustainability of this new value chain. Within the project an environmental assessment using the methodology of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is performed. The aim is to identify, quantify and assess the most important environmental impacts and benefits of rubber and inulin from Rubber dandelion based on the whole value chain. Within the LCA scientific environmental indicators (e.g. global warming potential, cumulated primary energy demand, land use, water use, and acidification) will be used to guide the development of the DRIVE4EU value chain to realize the highest possible sustainability in comparison to a substituted reference system (natural rubber from Hevea tree and PET from fossil resources). The combination of natural rubber and inulin makes Rubber dandelion very interesting as a production platform.

Keywords: Biobased economy, Bioplastic, Biorefinery, Novel crop, Rubber