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Recent Advances in Producing Lignin-Based Carbon Fibers

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Recent Advances in Producing Lignin-Based Carbon Fibers for High-Temperature Applications


Lignin, a biopolymer derived from biomass, has been investigated as a renewable and low-cost carbon fiber precursor since the 1960s.  Although successful lab-scale and pilot-scale production of lignin-based carbon fibers has been reported in the literature, there is not currently any commercial production or application. This work will highlight some of the recent progress that has been made with producing carbon fibers from different lignin types (softwood, hardwood, and grass) with a view towards a potential application in high-temperature insulation.  The functional properties of lignin-based carbon fibers make it promising as a drop-in replacement for current rayon or pitch based carbon fibers used in high-temperature insulation, without a need for high modulus or strength.  Specifically, it is shown in this work that multiple lignin types can be made into carbon fiber, which were evaluated for melt spinnability and thermal stabilization time. This work is a collaborative effort with GrafTech International Holdings Inc. and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), as part of a cooperative agreement with the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office.  This paper will highlight the technical progress made to date with producing lignin-based carbon fiber for insulation, and developing and qualifying a USA-based supply chain.


Authors: Ryan M. Paul, Xuliang Dai, Shadab Shaikh, Andrew Hausner


Conference: CAMX 2016 – Anaheim


SKU/Code: TP16-0051


Pages: 12



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