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Influence of metal ions on lignin-based carbon fiber quality
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Sustainable Process Engineering.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Carbon fiber is a lightweight, versatile material with many current and potential applications. To be able to expand the market for carbon fiber composites in other areas than special applications the production costs must be reduced. One way of accomplishing this could be to use a less expensive raw material where lignin is a good example as it can be provided at lower cost, is renewable and abundantly available compared to commercially used raw materials today.

So far, the mechanical properties of lignin-based carbon fibers are inferior relative to commercial carbon fibers. For lignin-based carbon fibers to enter the commercial market more research is necessary to gain knowledge of the conversion of lignin to carbon fiber. The LightFibre project investigates the possibilities to produce carbon fibers based on a mixture of softwood kraft lignin and cellulose. The kraft lignin is isolated from black liquor in the kraft/sulfate process with the LignoBoost process. This master thesis project was conducted within in the LightFibre project and evaluated whether metal ions generally present in kraft lignin had an influence on the final carbon fiber quality in terms of mechanical properties and morphology. The mechanical properties were determined with tensile testing, the morphology by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the relative abundance of studied elements with electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS).

The influence of the chosen metal ions was tested by impregnation of dry-jet wet spun prefibers based on 70 wt.% softwood kraft lignin and 30 wt.% dissolving pulp cellulose. The fibers were impregnated in room temperature with solutions containing Na2SO4, K2SO4, MgSO4, FeSO4 and Al2(SO4)3 salts where the cations were the focus in these trials. The concentrations used for impregnation were 0.2 and 1M of the cations.

The obtained mechanical properties of the carbon fibers of the samples impregnated with different metal ions did not deviate significantly from the reference which had a tensile strength of 870 MPa and tensile modulus of 68 GPa. The analysis of morphology with SEM showed no defects or damage of any of the fibers. Therefore, it was concluded that the impregnated metal ions: K+, Na+, Al3+, Mg2+ and Fe2+ at the obtained levels in the fibers cause no effects on the fibers during the stabilization and carbonization that affects the mechanical performance of final carbon fiber.  The amount of potassium in one of the samples was estimated to 0.1 wt.%.

From the results of this study it may be suggested that the general recommendation of <0.1 wt.% ash in lignin can be exceeded, for dry-jet wet-spun kraft lignin/cellulose-based carbon fibers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 42
Keywords [en]
Carbon fiber, lignin, kraft lignin, cellulose, impregnation, LignoBoost, metal, ash, inorganic, black liquor, morfology, tensile testing, dry-jet wet spinning
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65971OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-65971DiVA, id: diva2:1147137
External cooperation
RISE Bioeconomy
Educational program
Sustainable Process Engineering, master's level
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-10-13 Created: 2017-10-04 Last updated: 2017-10-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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