Coal to Carbon Fiber (C2CF) Continuous Processing for High Value Composites

Grants and Contracts Details


Coal to carbon fiber (C2CF) is scientifically sensible, industrially viable, and could be quickly scalable up to 10s of ktonnes of carbon fiber per year. We can do this in the United States, with nearly 100% existing US infrastructure and supply chain. We will develop and demonstrate the technologies, from precursor to continuous spinning and processing, to produce carbon fiber with an estimated value-add of 55 times more than the coal tar pitch. In collaboration with Koppers Inc., this project uniquely capitalizes on domestic coal for domestic steel manufacturing. Koppers exclusively buys 10s of kt/yr of recovered domestic coal tar and will generate ultra-low QI, high Tsp isotropic coal tar pitch (CTP), for carbon fiber precursor. Koppers will then efficiently convert this CTP to mesophase pitch to market as the preferred industrialscale high performance carbon fiber precursor. UK CAER will develop the processing of continuous, multifilament fiber spinning and thermal conversion to generate high quality carbon fiber from this new mesophase precursor. UK CAER with Materials Sciences Corporation LLC will develop unique green fiber weaving and subsequent thermal processing for high-volume efficient throughput of coal-derived carbon fiber composite preforms. Moreover, UK CAER and partners will fabricate, characterize and demonstrate real composite parts. In the end, the objectives of this project are to bring to the Nation’s economy: (a) novel low QI CTP and subsequent mesophase pitch, easily scaled to 10s kt/yr, (b) know-how and equipment to continuously process it into high performance carbon fiber tow and fabric, ready for scale-up and (c) demonstration of end composites with the product to generate market pull. In sum, we are excited to pursue this path to maximize the coal value chain.
Effective start/end date10/1/199/29/24


  • Department of Energy: $1,475,250.00


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