DOE Announces Funding to Advance Renewable Carbon Fibre

The Energy Department has announced up to $11.3 million in funding for two projects that aim to advance the production of cost-competitive, high-performance carbon fibre material from renewable, non-food-based feedstocks.

The two projects seek to demonstrate new biomass conversion technologies that enable the manufacturing of acrylonitrile – an essential feedstock for high performance carbon fibre – for less than $1 per pound.

The Southern Research Institute (SRI) of Birmingham, Alabama will receive up to $5.9 million to innovate on a multi-step catalytic process for conversion of sugars from non-food biomass to acrylonitrile and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of Golden, Colorado will receive up to $5.3 million to investigate and optimise multiple pathways to bio-acrylonitrile.

This funding supports the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, a cross-cutting effort to ensure U.S. manufacturers remain competitive in the global marketplace.