The EU-PEARLS consortium links stakeholders in the EU and elsewhere in the development, exploitation and sustainable use of guayule and Russian dandelion, aiming to establish complete new value creation chains for natural rubber and latex from these plants.
EU-PEARLS stands for EU-based Production and Exploitation of Alternative Rubber and Latex Sources.
The value chains cover all elements from plant breeding and agronomy to ultimately the production of latex and rubber based consumer endproducts. Medical gloves and car tyres were produced as proof of principle.
As a central element in the entire value chain Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research works on the extraction and analyses of latex and rubber from Russian dandelion and guayule on small laboratory scale and on pilot scale. Thus, both the needs of the breeding activities by Wageningen UR Plant Research International and those of several end-users, including application research at the end of the chains, are being served. In addition, through integral bio-refinery strategies additional value is being created for side-products inulin from Russian dandelion, the resin (terpenoids) and lignin fractions from guayule and the biomass remaining after all extraction steps.