Seven-figure grant for Finnish researcher producing carbon fiber from wood

September 16, 2016 |

Michael Hummel, postdoctoral researcher at the Aalto University in Finland, has been awarded a €1.5 million ($1.68 million) starting grant by the European Research Council (ERC). The funding is allocated to a five-year project aiming at the manufacturing of high-quality carbon fibers from wood.

“We can produce hybrid fibers composed of cellulose and lignin as the precursor material for carbon fiber with less energy and chemicals as conventional processes,” explains Hummel.

The hybrid fibers are manufactured using the Ioncell-F spinning technology developed by Aalto University Professor Herbert Sixta’s research group. Ioncell-F is based on the dissolution of biomass in a non-toxic solvent, followed by the extrusion of the solution through spinnerets to produce endless filaments.

“The goal is to use the entire wood matrix almost in its original form, which will further reduce the environmental impact and total energy necessary to produce carbon fibers,” says Hummel.

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Category: Research

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