Kultevat Partners with Sumitomo Rubber Industries
In August 2015, Kultevat announced they would be entering into a research partnership with Keygene Inc., a leading Ag BioTech company in the Netherlands and U.S. with financing from Sumitomo Rubber Industries, a leading Japanese tire manufacturer, to accelerate the development of an environmentally friendly source of natural rubber from Russian dandelions.
Founded with a vision of providing an alternative source of natural rubber to decrease and eventually replace our dependence on Hevea rubber trees, Kultevat is making good headway in 2015 expanding from athletic shoes/wear to tire retreading.
Today, there are approximately 850 retread plants of varying sizes throughout North America. Altogether, these plants consume millions of pounds of synthetic and natural rubber and sell more than $3 billion of retreaded tires annually. By using retreaded tires, the commercial and military aircraft industries save more than $100 million a year, and the trucking industry saves more than $3 billion a year. In addition, retreading is very environmentally friendly.
In recent years, the supply of natural rubber from Southeast Asia has stagnated due to long growth cycles, antiquated cultivation methods and high labor costs, and more recently rubber tree fungal blight. Kultevat is seizing this economic opportunity and supplying natural rubber at a very competitive cost, while simultaneously reducing our global footprint on the environment.
Since presenting at Ag Showcase 2014, Kultevat has begun working with India's Balkrishna Industries Ltd. to develop the product further for use in making tires.
- Daniel Swiger
- Kultevat, Inc.
- Creve Coeur, MO, USA