DoE offers $12 million for biomass-based carbon fibre technologies

Up to $12 million (€8.8 million) in financial support is available from the Department of Energy (DoE) to advance the production of carbon fibre material from non-food based renewable feedstocks such as agricultural residues and woody biomass.

The DoE says carbon fibre derived from biomass could be cheaper to make and possess greater environmental benefits than traditional carbon fibre produced from natural gas or petroleum.

The funding supports the DoE's Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, in which it is working to ensure US manufacturers remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Carbon fibre is a strong, lightweight material that can replace steel and other heavier metals to lower the cost and improve performance of many technologies, including fuel-efficient vehicles and renewable energy systems. 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 DoE is supporting projects that identify and develop a cost-competitive technology pathway to produce carbon fibres from renewable biomass.

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