About lignin fiber line

With this new winder and conditioning unit you can spin lignin monofilaments and subsequently cross-link them under well-defined heat, stress or strain conditions, so that they can be carbonized subsequently. These two screening instruments drastically relieve your R&D efforts and reduce your development time, so that less R&D budget is needed.

Lignin, a main component of wood, is one of the most abundant renewable biopolymers on earth. It is a byproduct in the paper industry with a main use as biofuel because of its high energy content. Yet, industry is constantly scouting for new, higher end, value-added applications.

One such potential new application is high tenacity, high stiffness carbon fibers. The main driver is the lower raw material costs of lignin fibers compared with PAN fibers. To develop a reliable process, R&D with specialized instruments is needed, as lignin fibers are extremely difficult to process and handle because of their very high brittleness.

Xplore recently developed this dedicated R&D lignin fiber line meeting all demanding R&D requirements. Scientists can now more easily collect lignin fibers with our special, large diameter winder and subsequently condition these fibers in an extremely accurate and reproducible way. The two instruments enable you to screen and optimize this delicate spinning and conditioning process with different lignin grades. It results in cross-linked lignin fibers with better mechanical properties. These fibers can be converted into carbon fibers in a final carbonization process step.

With our new winder, lignin monofilaments can be produced and collected in a reliable and reproducible way.
Our new conditioning unit contains many sophisticated features to guarantee reproducible clamping of the extremely fragile lignin fibers, precise temperature control of the airflow and a constant very low stress or strain of the lignin fiber to be cross-linked under the chosen cure conditions. The strain can be adjusted on a nanometer level and the stress on a mN level. As required, the stress range can be chosen 1 – 250 mN or 1 – 1000 mN. The gripper displacement part of the conditioning unit can move back and forth with minimum increments of 1 nm to ensure accurate and constant fiber tension or strain during the process of cross-linking under thermal load. The conditioning unit enables you to cross-link the lignin fiber under ultra-accurate, pre-defined tension or strain and thermal conditions to give it sufficient mechanical properties for the subsequent carbonizing step. The compact design allows the equipment to fit on a table in your R&D laboratory.
After this conditioning, the cured lignin monofilaments are strong enough to be converted into carbon fibers via a standard carbonization process (not in the Xplore conditioning unit).

Hence this new lignin fiber line can provide the precise and delicate pretreatments required to produce a cross-linked lignin fibers with sufficient mechanical properties to allow handling for a subsequent carbonization process step.

The Xplore lignin fiber line enables you to screen and optimise the delicate spinning and conditioning processes in a fast, accurate, reproducible and user friendly manner.