Bio-based acrylonitrile for carbon fiber applications

The letter of intent signed by Solvay and Trillium Renewable Chemicals will enable the supply chain for bio-based acrylonitrile (bio-ACN). On the one hand, Trillium will supply Solvay with bio-ACN from Trillium’s planned commercial asset; on the other, Solvay will evaluate bio-ACN for carbon fiber manufacturing for the development of sustainable solutions from bio-based or recycled sources. The goal of this agreement is to produce carbon fiber for use in various applications such as:

  • aerospace
  • automotive
  • energy
  • consumer goods

 

But what is acrylonitrile?

It is a chemical intermediate typically made from petroleum-based feedstocks like propylene and is the primary raw material used in the production of carbon fiber. Trillium’s Bio-ACN™ process delivers acrylonitrile from plant-based feedstocks like glycerol with a lower carbon footprint.
 

Stephen Heinz, head of composite research & innovation, Solvay, comments:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Trillium which aligns well with our Solvay One Planet commitment to more than double our revenue based on renewable or recycled materials by 2030. Innovation partnerships such as this are driven by a desire to make a real-world sustainability impact. Bio-based feedstocks are a key part of Solvay’s sustainability strategy, and we look forward to being a consumer of bio-ACN from Trillium’s first bio-based acrylonitrile plant”

 

Corey Tyree, CEO of Trillium, explains:

 “Trillium’s bio-ACN process technology enables bio-carbon fiber. We are excited to continue our partnership with Solvay, who have supported the bio-ACN process technology development since 2014. Solvay is a leader in the most rapidly-growing acrylonitrile segment (carbon fiber) and are market leaders in bio-carbon fiber and sustainable development”.

 

 


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