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GreenRubber - Sustainable Production of Natural Rubber Using Yeast

Project description

Harnessing yeast to produce natural rubber sustainably and cost-effectively

Natural rubber is obtained from latex, a milky liquid produced by certain plants. It is essential in many industrial applications, among them the production of tyres. Currently, the EU neither produces nor processes natural rubber, the majority of which is imported from Asia. Complicating dependence on other countries is the sensitivity of production to disease and climate change. The need for an independent supply of environmentally friendly natural rubber is critical to European competitiveness and citizens’ quality of life. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the GreenRubber project will develop yeast-based biotechnology to produce high-quality natural rubber from cheap and readily renewable materials such as sugar.


Natural Rubber is a very important and widely used industrial raw material, which cannot be replaced by other equivalents because of its unique properties (e.g. durability and insulation). Synthetic rubber produced by petrochemicals, is not only detrimental to the environment, but also cannot replace natural rubber due to its lower quality. Therefore, for many industrial applications (e.g. in car tires), humankind still heavily relies on rubber extracted from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. However, the demand of natural rubber is continuously increasing due to the fast pace of motorization in Asian countries, like China or India, while production is sensitive to disease outbreaks or weather conditions. For these reasons, to become self-sufficient in natural rubber is within the European strategic priorities. Thus, because both natural and synthetic rubber production is no longer sustainable, there is an urgent need to establish environmentally friendly methods for the synthesis of natural rubber, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15). To meet this demand, I will apply an interdisciplinary approach to develop a yeast-based cell factory to produce high-quality natural rubber from cheap and readily renewable materials like sugar. My research expertise in molecular biology, polymer bioproduction, and biochemistry, make me the ideal candidate to implement this project. Combining my current knowledge, with the systematic education on metabolic engineering and pathway elucidation that will be provided by the host lab, I will build a unique profile as an expert in polymer bioproduction using microbial hosts. GreenRubber will help me develop and establish an independent international career on harnessing industrial microorganisms (e.g. yeast) to bioproduce polymers for high-end applications such as medical consumables.


Net EU contribution
€ 214 934,40
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
No data