Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge (‘CFGC’): Phase III

By mmuise

The Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge is a $15 million international competition to accelerate the production of carbon fibre from bitumen-derived asphaltenes. The Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge is part of the broader “Bitumen Beyond Combustion” initiative by Alberta Innovates to further the development of non-combustion products and their production technologies, derived from bitumen contained in Alberta’s oil sands, which are among the world’s largest hydrocarbon resources with proven reserves of approximately 170 billion barrels.

Comments on Funding:

Funding is a grant ranging from $200,001 and $4,000,000 CAD. A total of $20,000,000 CAD is available.  Following a modest initial payment, funding will be provided on a reimbursement basis as milestones are achieved as the project progresses.  Milestones are aligned with the project implementation plan.

Deadline: Applications are closed. Stay tuned for future intake announcements. The previous deadline was on June 26, 2023.

The Carbon Fibre Grand Challenge Phase III competition is open to technology developers, industry (including small, medium and large size enterprises), industry associations, research and development (R&D) organizations, post-secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and government research labs, providing they are legally able to execute the Investment Agreements found in the Links section below. Applicants are not required to be based in Alberta or Canada but must demonstrate a clear value proposition for Alberta and Canada.

Applicant Objectives:

  • In a repeatable manner, manufacture carbon fibre from Alberta bitumen derived feeds with consistent performance properties aligned to market needs.
  • Incorporate carbon fibre manufactured in Phase III into prototypes of end use products and evaluate/validate the performance of the prototypes.
  • Understand in great detail the environmental impacts of the manufacturing process and the techno-economics associated with the designed process.

    Targeted Outcomes:
  • Continuous & repeatable carbon fibre manufacture of >1 kg per week with consistent performance properties over a period of time that allows for the understanding of the environmental impacts and waste streams associated with the manufacturing process.
  • A minimum tensile strength >1,720 MPa and modulus >172 GPa or other strength/modulus combination that meets commercial needs and can be demonstrated through end user performance requirements.
  • Projected commercial cost of carbon fibre
  • Line-of-sight to scale carbon fibre manufacturing process to 2000 tonnes or greater per year.
  • Demonstrated market potential of products incorporating carbon fibre, utilizing >10,000 tonnes per year of bitumen derived feedstock by 20
  • Building a small-scale prototype of an end product(s) (e.g. test parts) that include(s) carbon fibre.
  • Potential of mass manufacture of identified end use products(s) identified above, concepts for their re-use and end-of-life disposition.
  • Estimate of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and other socio/environmental impacts of the carbon fibre and their products.
Application Steps:


Documentation Needed:


Other Things to Note:

1. The full Program Guide will be released in early May 2023. There are three phases to the CFGC.  Phase I concluded in February 2021. Phase II will conclude in July 2023. Phase III Applications will open on May 15, 2023. Applicants to Phase III are not required to have participated in Phases I or II.
2. Alberta Innovates is working with partners to support Phase III of the CFGC. Funding partners will be confirmed with the full Program Guide release in early May along with additional funding rules related to stacking and eligible/ineligible costs.
3. Application Deadline: June 26, 2023, at 2:00 PM MDT
Funding Decision Notification: July 2023
Earliest Project Start Date: September 1, 2023

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