Ramaco Carbon LLC is aiming to “fundamentally diversify the future of the coal industry” with a “coal to cars” mine, research center and industrial park.
The facility is a partnership of the Ramaco Resources Inc. affiliate as well as national research teams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Grossman Group for Advanced Materials, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Duke University, Southern Research Institute and the Western Research Institute. The group is aiming to divert “a significant amount of thermal coal production” away from coal-burning utilities and into the creation of other products using coal as a base.
The group plans to start with carbon fiber parts for cars, airplanes and other products. Ramaco Carbon said the company expects that its Powder River Basin coal reserves and operations will now separately serve as the nucleus of a “coal to products&quo t; technology company with a focus on manufacturing high-value industrial products.
According to the company’s Feb. 22 news release, the Brook mine near Sheridan, Wyo., will become the first thermal coal mine in the nation dedicated to incubation and production of coal-derived products.
In the release, Ramaco Carbon CEO Randall Atkins said coal and the carbon in it is “too valuable to burn.”
“The use of coal in this manner has the potential to both use high volumes of coal in a higher margin value proposition, as well as create dramatically more mining, manufacturing, and transportation jobs,” Atkins said. “This project will potentially have significant commercial, environmental and socioeconomic implications across a variety of industries.”
Ramaco Carbon estimates the first commercialization to occur within three years.
“Moving in this direction could fundamentally change the landscape of the American coal industr y,” Atkins said.
Ramaco Resources recently debuted its IPO.