It may sound like something straight out of Rumpelstiltskin, but in Sweden, they're serious: two research institutes have joined forces to develop and market carbon fiber that is spun from trees.
Innventia, a research institute focusing on innovations based on forest raw materials and Swerea SICOMP, one of Europe's leading research institutes in the field of polymer fiber composites, have announced a road map for the project, the target of which is to have the new product ready for market by 2025.
Innventia already produces carbon fiber from lignin in the laboratory for research purposes and is now investigating the options for up-scaling the process. Encouragingly, the research conducted by this institute shows that lignin-based carbon fiber can be optimized for both structural (load-bearing) and non-structural applications. Time wise, however, the non-structural applications are probably closer to a market launch.