Carbon Ore Processing

Carbon Ore Processing 2023 Success Stories
Carbon Ore Processing 2023 Success Stories

Carbon ore is a domestic resource that has contributed to economic growth in the United States for more than a century. However, under a shifting energy generation paradigm, innovation is needed to extract the full economic value from carbon ore and to remediate legacy impacts associated with past extraction and utilization. The Carbon Ore Processing Program at the NETL delivers solutions to this challenge with novel technologies for producing valuable products from carbon ore. Laboratory and pilot-scale research and development (R&D) supported by the program elevates the value of the nation’s carbon ore resources and transforms their use for the future. The program focuses on developing a range of carbon ore products spanning the entire value spectrum, from high-volume through high value.

Transforming the Carbon Ore Value Chain

ACP Value chain

Carbon ore’s unique structure and composition makes it well suited as a feedstock for high-value carbon products such as carbon fibers, graphite for batteries, additive manufacturing filaments and resins, and carbon nanomaterials for advanced electronic and metal alloy applications. Carbon ore is also abundant and low-cost, making it an attractive feedstock for high-volume applications such as building materials, as a concrete additive, and polymer composites. These markets, which are outside of traditional thermal and metallurgical roles, expand the carbon ore value chain in the United States and sustain jobs within a critical sector of the U.S. economy.

Examples of products pursued by R&D within the Carbon Ore Processing Program include:

  • Graphite for electrochemical applications and carbon fibers for carbon-carbon composites and polymer enhancement.
  • Carbon fibers/foams and modified carbon ore for building materials such as roofing tiles, siding, decking, insulation, joists/studs, sheathing, tiles and carpet, wraps and veneers, and architectural block.
  • Carbon nano-materials such a graphene, quantum dots, and nanotubes for additive manufacturing (filaments, resins, and conductive inks), battery anodes, supercapacitors, memristors, and carbon-metal alloys.

For more information on potential new markets for carbon ore and the emerging technologies being developed by the Carbon Ore Processing Program, click on the links under Explore the Site.

Carbon Ore interactive map

Click to view the Carbon Ore Processing Interactive Projects Map

NETL technology opens opportunities for coal as a manufacturing feedstock.
Demand for graphite is expected to soar as U.S. production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) increases.
A technology, developed by XMAT with support from NETL, uses coal waste as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries. (Image courtesy of XMAT.)

News: Ramaco Subsidiary Acquires NETL Patent To Commercialize New Uses for U.S. Coal
A revolutionary NETL technology that uses domestic coal as a feedstock to make better batteries, stronger construction materials and improve a wide range of consumer products has been acquired for commercial development by Carbon Holdings Intellectual Properties, a subsidiary of Ramaco Inc.

News: NETL Driving Research To Produce Graphite for Electric Vehicles, Other Green Applications
Research by NETL and its partners is advancing discoveries to produce graphite — a material whose unique properties make it an essential component for mass-producing battery electric vehicles (BEVs), energy storage systems and other green technologies — from unwanted carbon waste materials.

News: With NETL Support, U.S. Company Develops Technology that Uses Coal Waste in Lithium-Ion Batteries
An award-winning technology, developed by an American company with support from NETL, uses coal waste as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries — an innovation that researchers believe is an eco-friendly way to help the U.S. reduce reliance on foreign countries for critical materials that are needed to support the growing demand for batteries used in battery electric vehicles (BEVs), energy storage, and other products.

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Explore the Site

NETL implements this effort as part of DOE’s Resource Sustainability Program