For the first time, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was used as an easily-handled chlorine source for preparation of isotropic pitch-based carbon fiber (IPCF) incorporating ethylene bottom oil (EO) as a raw material. Pitch precursors were prepared by the chlorination–dehydrochlorination triggered by chlorine radicals originated from PVC; aromatization and poly-condensation reactions occurred by polyene-type radicals from PVC. Radical production and co-carbonization were facilitated by pretreatments of EO through vacuum distillation, bromination, and additional heat treatment. Pitches were prepared by the co-carbonization of pretreated EO and EO containing 20 wt% PVC, and had higher yields and better spinnability than those by simple distillation.
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