“These could be used in tennis rackets, bicycles, cars, or even wind turbines. Carbon fiber is much lighter but has the same mechanical strength as other materials used for those products now. We can also make different types of fiber using other spinning methods.”
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There are many upsides to the process, Yuan said. Because the system uses otherwise discarded lignin, raw materials are cheap. Recycling should encourage investment in biorefineries, too, since they will now have a commodity to sell from their byproduct materials.
“When we are able to use the same biomass to produce different things, that allows the best economic return by being sustainable," Yuan said in a statement. “Eventually that would lead to increasing jobs and enhancing rural economic growth.
"And the entire supply chain is in the United States, which means the jobs would be here, too.”
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