Carbon Advanced Materials Research Center Approved for Construction Near Sheridan

Wyoming carbon tech company Ramaco Carbon announced Friday that construction of the first phase of its innovation campus, named the iCAM (Carbon Advanced Materials), has been green-lighted by county officials. Site work is scheduled to begin immediately. According to a new release from Ramaco, once built, the iCAM research center will host researchers from national laboratories, universities, private research groups and strategic manufacturing organizations. Groups will conduct applied research and development with one goal: To use the carbon found in coal to create advanced carbon based manufactured products.

The office, research lab and pilot building will contain approximately 10,000 square feet of interior space which will house both research and strategic partners, as well as Ramaco Carbon’s current 3D print manufacturing operation. The building will be a modern steel structure with a sloped rusted corrugated metal roof, designed to complement the local topography and natural colors of the area.

The iCAM research facility will be the first phase of the carbon tech innovation campus that which will also include a carbon based manufacturing center (iPark) and the Brook coal mine. Fittingly, the iCAM center will be located near the historic coal mining areas of Acme and Monarch on the Black Diamond Trail, where mining has been done in the Sheridan area since the late 1800’s. Once complete, it will be the world’s first vertically integrated coal resource, research and manufacturing complex.

The structure has been designed by the award-winning architectural firm of Dynia Architects of Denver and Jackson Hole. The Denver Post recently called Dynia “a major, and potentially historic, force in Denver design.”

“As an architect, I love working on projects that are forward looking,” said Dynia. “This project required thoughtful design of the initial structure to conform with and compliment nature, as well as the overall layout of a campus of buildings that create community and collectively speak to the forward nature of the activity within. As in many high-tech campuses, the central principle is to say something about the advanced mission of the company, and in this case to say it with special respect for the natural landscape. In this first phase I think we have created a building that is functional, contextual and progressive.”

Randall Atkins, CEO of Ramaco Carbon said, “This research center has been both a long time in the planning and the making. The iCAM will help modernize and support innovation in the regional economy, and the coal industry as a whole. The work done here in Sheridan will take coal from its traditional use in power generation, to an exciting alternative use of coal to carbon products.”

Carbon tech and coal-to-products was recently named as one of Wyoming’s biggest economic opportunities by The American Jobs Project — a think tank from the University of California, Berkeley — and capable of supporting thousands of jobs. These jobs will focus on using coal to create consumer goods, med tech, automobile and airplane parts, building materials, and more.

Ramaco Carbon’s project is funded solely in the private sector, and requires no taxpayer or economic development funds from the State of Wyoming.

"Ramaco Carbon is making substantial private investments,” the American Jobs Project wrote in their Wyoming report. “These world-class resources position Wyoming as an unparalleled location to identify, prototype, commercialize, and scale cutting-edge carbon tech products and processes."

Pending completion of the iCAM scheduled for the spring of 2019, Ramaco Carbon will move its current Ramaco 3D operations into the new facility. Ramaco 3D has already begun test producing commercial items with its high-speed manufacturing-grade 3D printers.

Project Engineer Jeff Barron of WWC Engineering said, “This project has required the coordination of a team of local professionals including architects, engineers, state and local regulators, Montana-Dakota Utilities, and local contractors to ensure the success of this first building for exciting new manufacturing in the Black Diamond Trail area.”

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