Wood-Based Carbon Fibre EV?

MAR 13 2016 BY MARK KANE 10

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.”

Categories: Battery Tech

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10 Comments on "Wood-Based Carbon Fibre EV?"

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Will it come standard with checkers and chess pieces or are those options?

The article says that the Swedish car is built using a composite made of of carbon fibers and lignin.

The Canadians have developed a similar body material, only it’s made from hemp fiber composite.

Carbon fiber may be the strongest man-made fiber, but hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers. Even today, rope is often made from hemp for this reason. Way back in 1941 Ford made a demonstration car made entirely of a hemp.

The modern Canadian car is called the Kestral and is a fully electric car, while Ford’s hemp-bodied car actually ran on a bio-fuel made from hemp raised by Ford. Hemp can be legally cultivated in Canada and most of the EU.

Dupont and other plastics companies have perfected a super-plastic which is basically traditional petroleum based plastics to which small amounts of natural fiber have been added. The result is incredibly strong.

It’s important to note there are more than a few species in the Cannabis plant family. The fibers are proven and distinct, especially in sailing. I do not, however, advocate narcotics, especially as a way of life. If you ever meet someone who has been smoking THC products for 30 years, it’s embarrassing to listen to them attempt argue that it has no long-term effects. Ditto for all controlled substances, really.

Inspection includes termite and dry rot report.

Duroplast on a Trabant? I don’t think so.

Its my school! They have the only 5 year vehicle engineering program in Sweden.

First off CF has always been made from wood so not sure what is going on here.
And not CF isn’t the strongest fiber, Kevlar types are.
As a composites person for 45 yrs there is little need for expensive over hyped CF when medium tech composite are much better in a crash, the controlling spec, than CF at 10-20% of the cost.
While I love hemp in so many ways, as a structural reinforcement, it is well down the line to others like FG.
Much better as cloth, fuel, synfuel feedstock, etc

Is there a particular plant/tree that is optimal for CF production?

The majority of the carbon fibers for CF are made by baking plastic strands until only carbon is left.

Honestly, I think it looks pretty good. If we can use wood and improve it so that is as safe and efficient as less natural materials than I think it will catch on.

I think humans will always want to be around wooden products, it’s just a bit more comforting than metal.