The chairman and CEO of Ramaco Carbon, Randall Atkins, accepted an invitation to speak before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Tuesday, July 24 in Washington, D.C. The hearing was titled, “Assessing Innovative and Alternative Uses for Coal.”

Atkins discussed and answered questions regarding the company’s efforts in Sheridan, Wyoming, where it is creating the first vertically integrated “coal-to-products” research center and advanced manufacturing park, in addition to its coal reserve and the Brook mine.

“Ramaco is now privileged to be working with two Department of Energy (DOE)-affiliated national labs, as well as some of the top minds in advanced materials research to create a ‘Carbon Valley’ in Wyoming,” Atkins said in his opening statement. “The goal of this innovation will be to create carbon products from coal. Some of these products will sell for high margins, and in many cases, also require large volumes of coal as the basic carbon feedstock. The result, we hope, will be an innovative, disruptive higher tech future for the coal industry, independent of power trends and related environmental issues.”

In June, Ramaco Carbon signed an umbrella cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). It has also previously entered into a partnership with another national laboratory, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Earlier in July, the company hosted a coal-to-products research conference in Sheridan featuring representatives from NETL, ORNL, the Grossman Group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Western Research Institute, and more than a dozen universities, industry partners and other organizations.