The strategic objective of CARBOPREC project is to develop low cost precursors from renewable materials widely available in Europe (lignin and cellulose) and doped by carbon nanotubes in order to produce cost-effective carbon fibers with medium performance for mass-market applications (automotive, wind blade energy…).
Both high purity cellulose and lignin-based formulations will be defined in order to provide:
a homogeneous dispersion of carbon nanotubes into polymer blend,
a satisfactory spinning processability,
an acceptable cost/performance ratio of the carbon fiber.
Some specific dispersion process (premixing of carbon nanotube with compatible binder, compounding of lignin, phosphoric acid dissolution of cellulose) will be developed taking care not to alter renewable raw materials (lignin or cellulose), and not to modify carbon nanotubes.
The (pre)carbonization and (post)carbonization process of carbon fiber will be optimized in order to:
increase the yield of carbonization process up to 35% for cellulose route and up to 50% for lignin route,
make the manufacturing process simpler by adding a plasma treatment step instead of the oxidation step.
The final objective of CARBOPREC project is to provide a global life cycle analysis (LCA) and technical-economical assessment of renewable source nanostructured carbon fibers for mass-market applications (automotive, wind blade energy…).