Dr Collins has been invited to give a presentation at the well-recognised conference GOCarbonFibre 2021 during the 27th and 28th  of  April 2021



Bioderived and sustainable carbon fibre for automotive, aerospace and wind energy applications


Frida Hermansson1, Matty Janssen1, Mario Culebras2, Erik Frank3, Magdalena Svanstrom1 and Maurice N Collins2

1Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, Ireland.

3 German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research, Kö rschtalstrasse 26, 73770 Denkendorf, Germany

The aim of this work is to develop sustainable carbon fibres from highly abundant bioresources which are not in competition with food supply achieving application performances that exceed existing technologies, whilst incurring minimal environmental impact. These carbon materials are produced from lignocellulose biomass. We focus on lignin, a low value by-product from the paper and pulp industry. Environmental life cycle assessment and life cycle costing were done for fibres made from 50% lignin and 50% bio-polyurethane. These were studied from raw material extraction to carbon fibre factory gate and benchmarked against conventionally produced fibres based on polyacrylonitrile. If emissions from the lignin-generating mill are allocated based on economic values, the fibres require between 20%-45% less energy and emit 50% less greenhouse gases compared to the conventional CF. Assuming a cost of 3 €/kg for lignin, cost is reduced by 30% compared to the conventional CF.