MIDLAND, Mich. — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Dow Chemical Co. $9 million to develop a lower cost carbon fiber production process that uses polyolefin in place of conventional polyacrylonitrile as the feedstock.
Low-cost carbon fiber has widespread application in automobiles, wind turbines and various other industrial applications. According to the Department of Energy, this novel process could reduce production costs by 20% and total carbon dioxide emissions by 50%.
“By investing in breakthrough technologies that can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumed during manufacturing, the Energy Department is supporting President Obama’s blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy and skills for American workers,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
The project is part of a $54 million investment by the Department of Energy to advance transformational technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs.