The work has included the cultivation of Russian dandelion to optimise yields and the development of new processing methods to produce natural rubber from the latex sap of the plant roots.
The new investment marks a "milestone" for the tires from dandelion rubber' project, according to Dr. Andreas Topp, head of material and process development, and industrialization for tires at Continental.
Testing of tread made from pure dandelion rubber against conventional tires made with rubber from the hevea brasiliensis rubber tree have yielded "extremely positive" results, he reported.
"Now we want to drive forward the economical production of Taraxagum, and with the new research facility in Anklam we are laying the foundations for this," said Topp.
Continental has already produced passenger car winter tires and engine mounts from the Taraxagum rubber, and aims to introduce commercial products in the next five-to-ten years.