Attis Industries, Iowa State University enter carbon fiber pact

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In Iowa, Attis Industries and researchers at Iowa State University are jointly evaluating processes to produce carbon fiber from lignin.

Xianglan Bai, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at ISU, together with Wandga Qu, a post-doctorate in Bai’s lab; Yixin Luo, a doctorate student; and scientists from Attis, will work to produce carbon fiber from melt-flowing lignin. Applications include automotive and aerospace industries.

The partnership is Attis’s first with a university, but Jeff Cosman, chairman and CEO of Attis Industries, tells Iowa State Daily it made sense because of the ISU’s reputation in carbon fiber research.

“Carbon fiber is two times stronger than steel and one sixth of the weight,” Cosman adds. “Iowa State’s role is to do the research, to further advance carbon fiber in the market place because right now carbon fiber is too expensive to replace aluminum and steels and the petroleum-based plastics.”