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Reference Number EP/L017679/1
Title Manufacturing of High Performance Cellulose Fibres to Replace Glass fibres & Carbon Fibre Precursors
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Industry) 15%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 40%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 25%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 35%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor S Eichhorn
No email address given
Engineering Computer Science and Maths
University of Exeter
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 July 2014
End Date 23 December 2020
Duration 78 months
Total Grant Value £2,060,466
Industrial Sectors Manufacturing
Region South West
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor S Eichhorn , Engineering Computer Science and Maths, University of Exeter (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Professor T Welton , Chemistry, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Professor A Bismarck , Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr SS Rahatekar , Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Centre for Process Innovation - CPI (0.000%)
Project Contact , Aberystwyth University (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Composites Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , Composites Evolution Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Haydale (0.000%)
Project Contact , Institute of Textile Chemistry and Chemical Fibers (ITCF), Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , SHD Composites (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Tennessee, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Valueform Limited (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract To reduce society's dependence on petroleum based non-renewable polymers, large scale utilization of naturally occurring, abundantly available polymers such as cellulose needs to be developed. One of the major challenges in large scale utilization of cellulose from biomass is dissolution and processing of cellulose to prepare downstream products such as high performance textile fibres. The Viscose method is the most common way to manufacture cellulose fibres; however, it is a complex, multistep process which involves use of very aggressive chemicals and requires a large volume of fresh water. In the 1970s, petroleum based synthetic polymer fibres such as polyester and nylon were commercialised and were proven to be more economical than producing cellulose fibres via the Viscose method. Hence, the production of cellulose fibres was reduced from over 1.3 million tons per year in 1973 to 0.4 million tons per year by 2008 (Source: International Rayon and Synthetic Fibres Committee). To overcome this issue of processing of cellulose we are proposing to develop an environmentally benign method of manufacturing of high performance cellulose fibres using "Green Solvents". The proposed research will help develop sustainable and high performance cellulose fibres which can in-principle replace heavy glass fibres (which requires high energy during its manufacturing) and non-renewable polymer precursors used for manufacturing of carbon fibres which are widely used in composites for aerospace, auto, sports and wind energy industries in UK and abroad
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/12/14