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US Energy Department announced $11 million for carbon fiber production from biomass

News International-French

25 Aug 2014

The Energy Department announced up to $11.3 million for two projects that aim to advance the production of cost-competitive, high-performance carbon fiber material from renewable, non-food-based feedstocks, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass.

Carbon fiber can lower the cost and improve performance of fuel-efficient vehicles and renewable energy components such as wind turbine blades. The two projects seek to demonstrate new biomass conversion technologies that enable the manufacturing of acrylonitrile – an essential feedstock for high performance carbon fiber – for less than $1 per pound.

  • 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.
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of Golden, Colorado will receive up to $5.3 million to investigate and optimize 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.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

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