ENP Newswire -
Release date- 21082014 -
The DOE award will fund development of a multi-step catalytic process for conversion of sugars from non-food biomass to acrylonitrile - a key precursor in the production of carbon fiber. Industrial demand for carbon fiber continues to grow due to its high strength and light weight in a number of fields including defense, space, aviation, automotive, wind turbine production, and sporting goods manufacturing.
'Carbon fiber is a strong, lightweight material that can replace steel and other heavier metals. Current production methods have limited its use, but by leveraging these renewable sources, we may be able to broaden its use, potentially improving performance of fuel-efficient vehicles and renewable energy components such as wind turbine blades,' said
'At Southern Research we have developed an innovative, elegant process concept, which utilizes biomass derived sugars from any source, allowing for the use of a variety of biomass feedstocks, to produce acrylonitrile. This process could not only potentially improve economics, but may also improve the overall environmental footprint of carbon fiber production when compared to traditional manufacturing methods,' said Dr.
Team members included in
NJIT will assist with catalyst characterization for optimizing catalyst performance.
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