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Cost effective lignin‑based carbon fibres for lighter cars

Cost-efficient carbon fibres would enable increased replacement of steel with light carbon fibre composites in cars. This would in turn decrease fuel/electricity consumption of the car fleet. The vision of the GreenLight project is to utilise the pulp mill by-product lignin as raw material for such carbon fibres.

Lignin - a valuable byproduct from the pulp mill

Aim and goal

The overall objective of GreenLight is to demonstrate a new bio-based and economically viable carbon fibre (CF) precursor – lignin – produced in Europe with European raw material.

The target is a cost-effective bio-based CF for use in reinforced composites delivering sufficient strength properties for large-volume automotive applications


The main challenge is to reach material properties meeting high-quality product demands.


The idea is to tailor kraft lignin properties already in the lignin separation/upgrading and optimise the lignin for target automotive applications.

Expected impacts

  • Decrease in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the automotive sector (10 % weight reduction means a reduction of 7 % in fuel consumption)
  • Creation of a sustainable European industry in the production of lignin-based CF, which has applications in diverse sectors (automotive, aircraft, wind energy, etc.)
  • Reduction of the European dependence on imported CF and CF precursors
  • Reduction of at least 20 % of greenhouse gas emissions in the production of lignin-based CF compared to the production of PAN-based CF.
  • Contribution to the structural changes and increasing of competitiveness of the industry in Europe



Project name

Lignin-based carbon fibres



RISE role in project

Coordinator, WP leader for 3 Workpackages: WP2 Stabilisation and carbonisation, WP5 Scalability and sustainability, WP7 Management

Project start


4 years

Total budget

2 600 088 €


Södra, FIBRE, STFI, Fourné, CRF, Podcomp, Conventive Composites


Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), Södra

The UN sustainable development goals

12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action

Project website



External press

Contact person

Birgit Backlund

Senior project manager

+46 10 228 45 61

Read more about Birgit