The Wood-Based Biorefinery: A Source of Carbon Fiber?

Göran Gellerstedt*, Elisabeth Sjöholm, Ida Brodin
Innventia AB, Box 5604, SE-114 86 Stockholm, Sweden

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© 2010 Gellerstedt et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Innventia AB, Box 5604, SE-114 86 Stockholm, Sweden; Tel: +46 86 76 70 00; Fax: +46 8411 55 18; E-mail:


In this mini-review, various attempts to make carbon fiber from lignins are discussed. The replacement of construction steel in cars and trucks with a much lighter carbon fiber-based composite will ultimately result in more fuelefficient vehicles. To replace the precursors of carbon fiber, polyacrylonitrile (PAN), or other non-renewable materials such as pitch, by cheap (kraft) lignin, a comprehensive understanding of the physical and chemical characteristics of lignin and the development of methods for its homogeneous large-scale production must be achieved.

Keywords: Black liquor, carbon fiber, kraft lignins, oxidative stabilization, strength properties, thermal analysis.