The “Cellulose Fibre Innovation Of The Year 2022 Award” Goes To DITF Denkendorf

DENKENDORF, Germany— February 7, 2022 — With its research results on the production of carbon fibers from wood, the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF) successfully applied for the first prize of the “Cellulose Fibre Innovation of the Year”. The DITF were nominated during the “International Conference on Cellulose Fibres 2022”, which took place in Cologne January 2-3.

For the second time, the nova Institute for Ecology and Innovation honored outstanding scientific research that provides sustainable solutions for the cellulose fiber value chain at the “International Conference on Cellulose Fibres 2022”. With the topic “Carbon Fibres from Wood”, the DITF Denkendorf presented itself in the middle of a current research field that provides resource-saving alternatives to fossil-based fibers.

The conference sees itself as an international forum for the development of new cellulose fibers and materials and their manufacturing processes. Exhibitors include leading fiber manufacturers; participants come from 13 countries. The six competitors nominated for the award presented themselves with products that combine sustainable production processes with new technologies and applications to form cellulose-based materials.

The Competence Centre Biopolymer Materials at DITF Denkendorf received first place in the nomination with its presentation of carbon fibers, which are obtained from the raw material wood in a novel and sustainable process. The HighPerCellCarbon® technology describes a patented process that has been further developed under the leadership of Dr. Frank Hermanutz: As a result, carbon fibers based on biopolymers can be produced in a sustainable and particularly environmentally friendly process.

The HighPerCellCarbon process involves the wet spinning of cellulose fibers using ionic liquids (IL) as direct solvents. The filament spinning process is the central technical part. It takes place in an environmentally friendly and closed system. The solvent (IL) is completely recycled. The cellulose fibers produced in this way are converted directly into carbon fibers in a further development step by a low-pressure stabilization process, followed by a suitable carbonization process. No waste gases or toxic by-products are produced during the entire process sequence.

The HighPerCellCarbon process is thus convincing in terms of sustainability in several respects: in addition to the recyclability of the solvent used, the use of wood as a raw material in particular stands for resource conservation. Petroleum-based raw materials, which are usually used in the industrial production of carbon fibers, are substituted by renewable biopolymers. Carbon fibers are used in many lightweight construction applications. Global demand has been characterized by significant growth rates for years. An environmentally friendly production process like HighPerCellCarbon is elementary for the sustainable management of an important industrial sector.

Posted: February 7, 2022

Source: The German Institutes Of Textile And Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF)