The US Energy Department have announced up to $12 million in new funding to further advance the creation of a low-cost high performance carbon fibre from renewable non-food based feedstocks.
Currently carbon fibre derived from biomass may be less costly to manufacture and offer greater environmental benefits than traditional carbon fibre produced from natural gas or petroleum. This funding supports the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, which is a cross-cutting effort to ensure U.S. manufacturers remain competitive in the global marketplace.
By investing in lightweight carbon fibre materials for vehicles, the Energy Department is hoping to help U.S. manufacturers reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel efficiency, cutting down a vehicle’s weight by just 10% can improve fuel economy by 6% to 8%.
In addition to its uses in fuel-efficient vehicles, carbon fibre can also improve other clean energy technologies including wind turbine blades, pressurised hydrogen storage vessels for fuel cells and insulation materials for energy-efficient buildings.
The Energy Department has said that it will continue to support projects that identify and develop a cost-competitive technology pathway to produce high-performance carbon fibres from renewable biomass. For more information and how to apply for investment, visit the Funding Opportunity Exchange website.