However, the current high cost, limited production capability in Europe and the use of petroleum-based polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as the precursor fiber (PF) from which the CF is ultimately derived, requires the development of innovative routes to industrial production.
To achieve this, novel processes are needed which can utilize sustainable precursor materials to produce CF of adequate quality, reduce energy consumption during manufacture and make CF widely available and affordable across a range of different European industrial sectors. The aim of LIBRE is to use lignin rich side streams in order to develop a more resource-efficient and sustainable carbon fiber production, based on biopolymers for PF production and energy efficient processing technologies for conversion of PF to CF which will haveperformance levels matching or bettering current industrial standards.
The LIBRE consortium is led by Dr Maurice N. Collins (the Bernal Institute, School of Engineering, University of Limerick, Ireland) and it consists of: University of Limerick ( Ireland), University of Bolton ( United Kingdom), Fraunhofer IFAM (Germany), Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe (Germany), Chalmers University (Sweden) Belgian Textile Research Centre (Belgium) Dralon (Germany), Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung (Germany), Tecnaro (Germany), C-Tech innovation (United Kingdom), ÉireComposites (Ireland) and Centro Ricerche Fiat (Italy).
LIBRE project has been received funded by the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720707. The project is funded until 2020.