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Fabrication of low-cost carbon fibers using economical precursors and advanced processing technologies

Choi, Dalsu, Kil, Hyun-Sig, Lee, Sungho
Carbon 2019 v.142 pp. 610-649
carbon, carbon fibers, greenhouse gas emissions, lignin, manufacturing, polyethylene, processing technology
Recently restricted greenhouse gas emission regulations for commercial vehicles have initiated a significant interest of an automotive industry in carbon fibers (CFs), which are excellent lightweight structural materials. However, the high production cost of CFs has limited their use in a selected number of applications including military, aircraft, and aerospace industries. Therefore, to satisfy a huge demand from the automotive industry and to translate an exotic technology into commercial applications, tremendous research efforts have focused on developing low-cost CFs. As the precursor cost takes more than 50% of an entire cost for CFs production, adopting low-cost precursors for CFs have been utilized as one of the main strategies. In this article, we review series of previous achievements which incorporated low-cost precursors into CFs fabrication including novel acrylic polymers, polyethylene (PE), lignin, and pitch. Furthermore, looking toward the future, prospective processing technologies which might be beneficial for reducing manufacturing cost of CFs are also reviewed.