Coal Holds Advantage in Creation of Goods

In terms of its use in developing carbon-based products, coal has an edge over other materials currently in use.

In fact, according to Charlie Atkins, coal possesses two qualities that give it an advantage.

Atkins said the other advantage to coal is the cost. For example, he said, one ton of coal yields about 800 pounds of carbon. A ton of Powder River coal costs about $15. Petroleum is sold by the barrel, and about six barrels of petroleum are needed to equal one ton.

And the cost of petroleum per barrel, Atkins said, is $75. Atkins is director of research and development for Ramaco Carbon and director of development for iPark, the facility that Ramaco plans to build north of Sheridan.

He talked with Sheridan Media during Ramaco's Research Rodeo last week at the Powder Horn.

Atkins said coal is the most cost-effective source in the world for carbon, and a wide variety of products are now made from carbon.

Atkins said Ramaco is also interested in deriving resins from coal and using those resins in 3D printing. He said Ramaco has taken over the old Modern Electric building on 16th Street in Sheridan and is retrofitting the building for new 3D printers that Ramaco has secured from a company called Carbon.

He said Ramaco hopes to have the 3D printing operation up and running by the end of this month.

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