Today I came across an interesting and in-depth article on Science News online outlining the plight of the rubber industry and what scientists are doing to tackle it.
The lack of sustainability in the rubber industry is unknown to the public at large, and it seems that most people are unaware of how finite our supplies of this resource are. Currently, rubber is sourced from the Hevea brasiliensis tree, which is only grown to a commercial scale in a few countries, or from petroleum sources, which are growing more and more limited. Furthermore, rubber trees tend to be grown in countries where political action can lead to supplies being endangered.
This article, written by Cristy Gelling, goes into tremendous detail about the formation of rubber, the history of its production and what technologies are being implemented to tackle the squeeze on this vital product, including using renewable resources such as dandelions.
If you’re curious about how research is moving forward in this significant industrial area of chemistry, take a look!