DOE Announces Funding For Renewable Carbon Fiber Production Project
On July 30, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will provide a total of $11.3 million in funding to support DOE's Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative. The money will go to two projects designed to help facilitate and promote the production of "cost-competitive, high-performance carbon fiber material from renewable, non-food-based feedstocks, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass." Under the projects, the Southern Research Institute of Birmingham, Alabama, will receive up to $5.9 million to innovate on a multi-step catalytic process for conversion of sugars from non-food biomass to acrylonitrile, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of Golden, Colorado, will receive up to $5.3 million to investigate and optimize multiple pathways to bio-acrylonitrile. A copy of DOE's press release on the announcement is available online.