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Title: Recent Progress in Producing Lignin-Based Carbon Fibers for Functional Applications

Lignin, a biopolymer, has been investigated as a renewable and low-cost carbon fiber precursor since the 1960s. Although successful lab-scale production of lignin-based carbon fibers has been reported, there are currently not any commercial producers. This paper will highlight some of the known challenges with converting lignin-based precursors into carbon fiber, and the reported methods for purifying and modifying lignin to improve it as a precursor. Several of the challenges with lignin are related to its diversity in chemical structure and purity, depending on its biomass source (e.g. hardwood, softwood, grasses) and extraction method (e.g. organosolv, kraft). In order to make progress in this field, GrafTech and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are collaborating to develop lignin-based carbon fiber technology and to demonstrate it in functional applications, as part of a cooperative agreement with the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office. The progress made to date with producing lignin-based carbon fiber for functional applications, as well as developing and qualifying a supply chain and value proposition, are also highlighted.
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  1. GrafTech International Holdings Inc.
  2. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: CAMX 2015, Dallas, TX, Oct. 26-29, 2015
Research Org:
GrafTech International Holdings Inc.
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Advanced Manufacturing Office (EE-5A)
Country of Publication:
United States