华盛顿州立大学称，如果木质素能融进碳纤维的话，即使是很少量的一部分，也能把碳纤维最终的生产成本降低37-49%。这就可以解释为何福特公司和现代汽车公司投资华盛顿州立大学的研究了。研究团队的首席调查官B 阿林（Birgitte Ahring）说，我认为我们能够在今秋展开材料的测试。
The “waste” in pulp and paper waste is becoming a misnomer as scientists are developing multiple uses for the material that had once headed straight to the landfill. Researchers from Washington State University recently presented their findings on converting pulp and paper waste, namely lignin, into lower-cost carbon fiber for use in manufacturing components for aircraft, cars and wind turbines, Bloomberg reported Aug. 25. This type of fiber improves upon steel as it lowers the vehicle’s weight, which facilitates fuel efficiency as well as making electric cars more mainstream. If lignin can be successfully incorporated into carbon fiber, even in small amounts, such an application could cut costs by up to 37%-49% of carbon fiber’s final production cost, according to the university. That could explain why major players such as Ford Motor and Hyundai have invested in Washington State’s research. At this point, “I think we could be able to start development test materials this fall,” said Birgitte Ahring, the principal investigator on the research team.