"INNOVATIVE METHODS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF POLYMERS FROM BIOBASED MATERIALS"

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Energy
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$49,932.00
Award Year:
1990
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
11687
Agency Tracking Number:
11687
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
87 Church Street, East Hartford, CT, 06108
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
CARBON MATERIALS ARE A MUCH HIGHER ADDED VALUE PRODUCT THAN NEARLY ANY OTHER PRODUCTS FROM WHICH COULD BE PRODUCED FROM LIGNIN. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN THE CASE OF CARBON FIBERS, WHICH CAN SELL FOR TENS TO HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS PER POUND. CONSEQUENTLY, THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROCESSES WHICH UTILIZE LIGNIN FOR THIS PURPOSE HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR A HIGHPAYOFF. PREVIOUS WORK SUGGESTS THAT AN APPROPRIATE MODIFICATION OF THE COMPOSITION OF LIGNIN-DERIVED PITCH COULD GREATLY ENHANCE ITS SUITABILITY AS A PRECURSOR MATERIAL. THE GENERATION OF A MESOPHASE FROM PYROLYSIS OF PITCH ONLY OCCURS IF SEVERAL CONDITIONS ARE MET. THE INTERMOLECULAR REACTIVITY IS A KEY FACTOR, AS IF THIS IS TOOHIGH, THE SYSTEM WILL CROSSLINK AT TEMPERATURES BELOW THOSE IN WHICH MESOPHASE IS GENERATED AND THE SYSTEM SOLIDIFIES TO FORM AN ISOTROPIC CARBON. THIS REACTIVITY CAN BE CONTROLLED BY CHEMICAL AND/OR THERMAL TREATMENT OF THE LIGNIN TO REMOVE REACTIVE FUNCTIONAL GROUPS. THESE TREATMENTS CAN ALSO BE USED TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE THE AVERAGE MOLECULAR WEIGHT, WHICH WILL TEND TO REDUCE THE REACTIVITY, AND THE VISCOSITY, BOTH OF WHICH ARE MORE FAVORABLE FOR MESOPHASE FORMATION. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE PHASE I PROGRAM WOULD BE TO INVESTIGAT THE APPROPRIATE THERMAL AND CHEMICAL TREATMENTS THAT WOULD LEAD TO THE OPTIMUM COMPOSITION FOR THE USE OF THE LIQUID PRODUCTS FROM LIGNIN AS A PRECURSOR FOR CARBON FIBER PRODUCTION. THE EXPERIMENTS WOULD BE DONE IN A NOVEL REACTOR SYSTEM EQUIPPEDWITH A POST-PYROLYSIS ISOTHERMAL CRACKING ZONE FOR THERMAL TREATMENT OF THE TARS IN ORDER TO "TAILOR" THEIR COMPOSITIONFOR CARBON FIBER PRODUCTION. THE PROGRESS OF THIS TREATMENTWOULD BE FOLLOWED BY ON-LINE FT-IR DIAGNOSTICS BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE THERMAL CRACKING ZONE. THE KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPED IN THE PHASE I PROGRAM WOULD BE USED IN THE PHASE II PROGRAM TO DEVELOP A PROCESS TAILORED TOWARD THE PRODUCTION OF MESOPHASE PITCH FOR CARBON FIBER PRODUCTION AS THE PRIMARY LIQUID PRODUCT.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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