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Polymer-coal composite used for building materials

By Scott Jenkins |

X-Materials (Orlando, Fla.; www.x-materials.com), the advanced materials division of Semplastics Inc., has developed a method for manufacturing a coal-containing ceramic polymer-composite material that is being used to make building materials, such as roofing tiles, as well as other products. According to X-Materials founder Bill Easter, the material, known as Coal Core Composite (CCC), combines desirable properties from three material types: the high strength and durability of metals; the high-temperature and fire resistance of ceramics; and the lightweight of plastics, while also sequestering coal carbon. The CCC is formed by heating powdered coal with a proprietary resin to form a chemically bound (rather than sintered) silicon-oxygen-carbon composite, Easter says. “There’s been a great deal of interest in these types of materials in the past, but producing them cost-effectively at scale has been elusive,” Easter explains. “We’ve been able to solve those issues with the CCC.” X-materials recently received a research and development contract from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (Morgantown, W.Va.; netl.doe.gov) to build a prototype dwelling made mostly from coal-derived building…
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