According to new findings from Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists, lignin, a waste material from the paper and pulp industry, could be used to create tennis rackets, cars and other items, ultimately producing a need for more manufacturing jobs.
Each year, approximately 50 million tons of lignin piles up as waste and only about 2 percent of that waste are currently recycled into new products.
The scientists’ research has proven successful in making fuel and bioproducts from lignin, and they have found that when the material is broken down into different parts and separated, certain parts of lignin are good for high-quality carbon fiber manufacturing.
ScienceDaily has more details:
We have overcome one of the industry's most challenging issues by discovering how to make good quality carbon fiber from waste," said Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist and associate professor of plant pathology and microbiology in College Station.
The research was published recently in Green Chemistry, the peer-reviewed journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
"People have been thinking about using lignin to make carbon fiber for many years, but achieving good quality has been an issue," Yuan said.