Recyclable Carbon Fiber, Improves Economics for Mass Market Electric Vehicles

Plant-Based Epoxy Enables Recyclable Carbon Fiber, Improves Economics for Mass Market Electric Vehicles

Ten times stronger than steel, nearly half the weight of aluminum, far stiffer than fiberglass—carbon fiber carries a package of advantages, making it a preferred material for use in luxury sedans and Formula One racecars alike.

But it still needs perfecting to become economical for mass market vehicles, according to National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) scientist Nicholas Rorrer. “Carbon fiber is expensive,” he explained. “It is also energy intensive to make, so it is not exactly greenhouse gas (GHG) friendly. Making carbon fiber readily recyclable could help in both these regards.”

Thanks to recent advances in bio-based material design, recycling carbon fiber at an industrial scale could already be close at hand.

Through a project supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, under the Composites Core Program, Rorrer and other NREL researchers have shown that making carbon fiber composites with bio-based epoxies and an anhydride hardener makes the material fully recyclable by introducing linkages that are more easily degraded. In fact, the recycling process—called methanolysis—can be selectively triggered at room temperature without degrading the quality or orientation of the fibers. That could represent a strong step toward a circular material, which can make carbon fiber cheaper and greener when used across multiple lives.

Information Source: Read More–>

Oil and gas, press , | Energy, Climate, Renewable, Wind, Biomass, Sustainability, Oil Price, LPG, Solar, Electric,