Göran Lindbergh, Professor and Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology at KTH.

Göran Lindbergh, Professor and Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology at KTH.

The KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the Swedish researcher institute Innventia and Swerea, is a research group for industrial renewal and sustainable development, present a joint project of carbon fibre from wood for cars and batteries.

The main idea is to reduce the weight using renewable materials.

At the current stage, it is just a model electric car with roof and battery made from wood-based carbon fibre.  So we aren't exactly ready for mass production.

"Although it's built on the scale of a toy, the prototype vehicle represents a giant step towards realizing a vision of new lightweight materials from the forest, one of the benefits of a so-called bioeconomy."

"The key ingredient in the carbon fibre composite is lignin, a constituent of the cell walls of nearly all plants that grow on dry land. Lignin is the second most abundant natural polymer in the world, surpassed only by cellulose."

Neat thing here (although without details about performances) is use of wood lignin as an electrode material for batteries.

"Lignin batteries can be produced from renewable raw materials, in this case the byproduct from paper pulp production."

Göran Lindbergh, Professor of Chemical Engineering at KTH said:

"The lightness of the material is especially important for electric cars because then batteries last longer. Lignin-based carbon fiber is cheaper than ordinary carbon fibre. Otherwise batteries made with lignin are indistinguishable from ordinary batteries."