Lignin-based carbon fiber for heat management of renewable energy systems offers excellent performance at a low cost and is the focus of a project between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and industry. A key challenge is whether the technology can be scaled to meet cost and production needs for industry partners looking at advanced energy efficiency systems. These applications include thermal management and structural reinforcement for materials manufacturing equipment as well as filters in water treatment, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment. "Our target is a 50 percent cost reduction compared to today's commercial grade carbon fibers based on pitch and polyacrylonitrile, or PAN, precursors," said Cliff Eberle of ORNL's Polymer Matrix Composites group. This project will demonstrate manufacturability and provide the data needed for industry to proceed to full-scale commercial development.