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Methods for Producing Carbon Fibers from Poly-(Caffeyl Alcohol) and Methods for Producing the Same

A cost-effective and environmentally-friendly method for producing superior carbon fibers from plant seed coatings

Background

Traditionally, carbon fibers are sourced from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and pitch. PAN has a high cost, and while raw pitch is cheaper, the extensive processing required results in a high final cost. In addition, the high temperatures required to produce carbon fibers from PAN significantly raise the energy required for the process. For these reasons, using plant materials as a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly carbon fiber source has been a growing area of research in recent years.

Technology Overview

Researchers at the University of North Texas have developed a method for producing carbon fibers from poly-(caffeyl alcohol), also known as PCFA or C-lignin. The PCFA is extracted from the coats of plant seeds, and can be used to fabricate

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