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Fibers 2015, 3(2), 184-196; doi:10.3390/fib3020184

Carbon Fibers from UV-Assisted Stabilization of Lignin-Based Precursors

Chemical Engineering and Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and Films, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jonathan Phillips
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers)
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Abstract

Production of high strength carbon fibers from bio-derived precursors is of topical interest. Recently, we reported on dry-spinning of a partially acetylated softwood kraft lignin to produce carbon fibers with superior properties, but the thermo-oxidative stabilization step required a long time due to a slow heating rate needed to prevent the fibers from being heated too rapidly and sticking to each other. Here we report a rapid strategy of dual UV-thermoxidative stabilization (crosslinking) of dry-spun lignin fibers that significantly reduces the stabilization time. The fibers undergo reaction close to the surface such that they can be subsequently thermally stabilized at a rapid heating rate without fibers fusing together, which reduces the total stabilization time significantly from 40 to 4 h. Consequently, the glass transition temperature of UV irradiated fibers was about 15 °C higher than that of fibers without UV treatment. Stabilized fibers were successfully carbonized at 1000 °C and resulting carbon fibers displayed a tensile strength of 900 ± 100 MPa, which is amongst the highest reported for carbon fibers derived from softwood lignin-based precursors. These results establish that UV irradiation is a rapid step that can effectively shorten the total stabilization time for production of lignin-derived carbon fibers. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon fiber; softwood lignin; UV irradiation carbon fiber; softwood lignin; UV irradiation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, M.; Jin, J.; Ogale, A.A. Carbon Fibers from UV-Assisted Stabilization of Lignin-Based Precursors. Fibers 2015, 3, 184-196.

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