U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Bioenergy Technologies Office

The Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office has issued a renewable carbon fiber request for information

August 21, 2013

The Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has issued a request for information (RFI) on the need for federal financial assistance to research, develop, demonstrate and deploy emerging renewable carbon fiber technologies. The RFI is the result of the Renewable Low-Cost Carbon Fiber for Lightweight Vehicles workshop, held June 4–5, 2013.

Speakers with experience in carbon fiber manufacturing, biomass deconstruction and intermediate production and industrial chemical production shed light on the benefits and possibilities of carbon fiber. Participants were invited to answer a series of questions related to the development of renewable carbon fiber (RCF) in three breakout sessions.  The results from the breakout sessions indicated a high level of interest in RCF and the need to gather more information regarding its potential for transportation.   

The purpose of the RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other public and private sector stakeholders to assist DOE with the development of a strategic program in RCFs. The program could include investigations of biological and/or non-biological conversion and processing technologies to transform biomass components into chemicals like acrylonitrile, which can be used in existing polyacrylonitrile-based manufacturing of high-performance carbon fibers.  

While there is no guarantee that a funding opportunity announcement will be issued, EERE may release one in the future—based on or related to the content and responses to this RFI—to support the development of RCF technologies.  Regardless, this carbon fiber RFI will be instrumental for BETO as it continues to seek to provide clean, safe, secure, affordable, and reliable energy from diverse domestic resources.  

Responses to the RFI must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on September 6, 2013. To provide information or to learn more about the RFI, please read the full announcement. For more information on BETO’s existing portfolio strategy, please visit the research and development Web page.