Bitumen, the viscous byproduct of oil sands extraction in Alberta, is historically used as gas or to make asphalt pavement. However what if it might be remodeled right into a extremely beneficial, superior materials, such because the carbon fibers generally utilized in aerospace, sports activities gear and electrical autos?
A staff of Canadian researchers, led by Dr. Yasmine Abdin, have discovered a option to convert bitumen into commercial-grade carbon fibers. The answer makes use of a soften spinning approach to create two forms of fibers in an economical and environmentally pleasant method. The projected value is estimated to be $12 per kilo, considerably decrease than the present market value of $33 per kilo.
Their breakthrough was acknowledged within the first two phases of the Carbon Fiber Grand Problem, a contest launched by Alberta Innovates to seek out new methods to extract worth from the oil sands. The staff plans to use for the third part of the problem and begin business manufacturing of their carbon fibers in 2024.
Driving in direction of a sustainable future
The potential makes use of for the newly created carbon fibers are huge, with electrical autos (EVs) seemingly a significant beneficiary. Carbon-fiber our bodies can compensate for the load of the everyday EV battery pack. Utilizing carbon fibers within the chassis helps the battery keep cool, bettering security and lengthening the driving vary, explains Dr. Abdin.
Canada produces round two million automobiles and lightweight autos yearly, making native entry to carbon fibers an interesting prospect for home automakers. By leveraging this breakthrough, they’ll acquire a aggressive edge whereas supporting Canadas wider objectives of lowering emissions.
Atif Hussain et al, Growth of low-cost electrospun carbon nanofibers utilizing asphaltene precursor, Advances in Pure Sciences: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2023). DOI: 10.1088/2043-6262/acd6e7
Researchers flip black bitumen into inexperienced carbon fibers (2023, June 13)
retrieved 13 June 2023
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