The primary sources of biomass for the lignin feedstock material for the carbon fiber production equipment in a new federal Carbon Fiber Technology Center will be:
Switchgrass grown for production of cellulosic ethanol and related biofuels.
Hybrid poplars (Populus species) similarly grown for production of cellulosic ethanol and related biofuels.
Hard and softwood tree plantations (Tree Farms) grown for pulp and paper production (primarily softwood in North America).
Waste wood materials (sawdust, wood shavings, etc.) from the forest products industry.
That’s according to Dr. Frederick S. Baker, CSci, CChem, FRSC Distinguished R&D Staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) in Tennessee. The purpose of the project is to dramatically reduce the cost of carbon fiber so that it becomes affordable for use in automotive composites.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
A self-propelled robot developed by a team of researchers headed by MIT promises to detect leaks quickly and accurately in gas pipelines, eliminating the likelihood of dangerous explosions. The robot may also be useful in water and petroleum pipe leak detection.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has built and successfully hot-fire tested an entire 3D-printed rocket engine. In other news, NASA's 3D-printed rocket engine injectors survived tests generating a record 20,000 pounds of thrust. Some performed equally well or better than welded parts.
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