The Department of Energy awarded X-MAT an additional $2.2 million to continue its work building a house completely of coal. Over the past year, X-MAT has developed bricks, blocks, facades, panels and roof tiles that comprise all the components needed to build a building.

X-MAT has been awarded the follow-on contract from the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to continue the research and development of its high-strength, lightweight building materials made using domestic coal waste.

With the DOE’s support and additional funding, the company will continue the process of creating a building made entirely from coal-based materials — from the structural columns to walls to roof tiles.

These coal-derived building materials are fire resistant, non-toxic, lightweight and durable, making them not only safer than their traditional counterparts, but easier to use and eco-friendly.  

“This is coal reimagined,” said Bill Easter, founder of X-MAT. “We’re honored to receive this funding from the DOE to continue the revolutionary work of repurposing coal and coal waste to bring these innovative, green building products to the marketplace.” 

X-MAT CCC, the coal-derived building materials leader with a manufacturing pilot line in Bluefield, West Virginia, will continue to build a prototype structure to test their coal-derived building materials including roof tiles, siding panels, bricks and blocks. 

The company hopes to have a partial coal house constructed by 2023.  

In total, the NETL has awarded X-MAT and their partner, Semplastics, more than $10 million in grants and contracts. In addition to this most recent contract, the team received a $1.4 million contract to create new uses for coal waste, a $1.5 million grant for X-TILES, and a nearly $1 million contract to help fund the research for turning coal into battery materials.

In addition to building materials, the company’s battery division, X-BATT, has combined coal with its proprietary, low-cost, resin-based technology to create full-cell batteries. Early tests in full coin cells show that the company’s batteries, utilizing this coal composite anode material, have reached more than 400 cycles. X-BATT has also scaled-up this technology, with the help of the Battery Innovation Center, into single-layer pouch cells that have surpassed 100 cycles and are continuing to perform well.

Equinor, Battelle Will Explore Appalachian Basin Carbon Capture, Storage Potential

Equinor has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with science and technology firm Battelle to advance development of a decarbonized regional energy cluster in the tristate region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“The Appalachian Basin is an important energy-producing region that also shows great promise in being a leader for the decarbonization of American industry,” Equinor U.S. Country Manager Chris Golden said. “Our regional hub vision will meet tomorrow’s energy demands while maintaining America’s industrial competitiveness within a net-zero scenario.”

The partnership between Equinor, a global broad energy company, with offices in Hannibal, Ohio, and Triadelphia, West Virginia, and Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development company, will enable the timely and progressive development of one of the first low-carbon industrial regions in the United States.

“We’re thrilled to be working on such an important technology challenge with a company of Equinor’s stature,” said John Tombari, division manager for Battelle’s Carbon Management business. “We look forward to a long-lasting collaboration that will have real impact.”

Under the agreement, Equinor and Battelle will undertake feasibility studies to examine the regional potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and collaborate on stakeholder outreach.

Battelle is a leader in geologic carbon dioxide capture, use and storage with more than 100 projects worldwide over the past 20 years.

Equinor has decades of experience with CCS projects of various sizes, from research and development to operations. Since 1996, Equinor has captured and safely stored more than 23 million tons of CO2.