Wyoming Patent of the Month – July 2021

Coal has been used in three key purposes for thousands of years: 1) generation of thermal heat and power generation through incineration, 2) production of steel and other metals by coking, and the 3) production of petrochemicals through pyrolysis or liquefaction. More and more research has gone into exploring alternative coal products and byproducts. Carbon Holdings IP LLC has put plenty of research into coal liquefaction and the products that can be made from it. As a result, they have developed an efficient method for producing advanced carbon materials from coal.

This process removes impurities, and creates a pitch to produce a wide range of carbon materials. Raw, mined coal can be beneficiated to remove any extraneous materials, leaving behind purer coal. This beneficiation is done through heating and might decrease the hydrogen to carbon ratio. A direct liquefaction process is then applied to produce a pitch and results in byproducts like gases, solid char, and coal liquid extract. These byproducts can be further processed – for instance, a coal liquid extract can be processed into carbon fibers and resins. The gases can be captured and used in refinement of carbon materials. The advanced carbon materials produced can then be used in a wide variety of downstream applications. For instance, graphene can be used in the production of graphene sensors for uses in disposable chips which detect diseases. Developing an efficient processing method of coal opens up the world of opportunities for its applications.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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