X-MAT’s material has various current applications including fireproof roof tiles, lightweight space mirrors, battery electrodes and 3D printed ceramics. The basic production process involves mixing raw powdered coal with a proprietary resin.
This coal composite material is currently undergoing testing and has already achieved more than 450 cycles at a third-party laboratory—a significant step forward in the technology development. The team’s next step is to scale this technology for testing in single-layer pouch cells.
The X-MAT technology can also be used to upcycle graphite from spent lithium-ion batteries, the company says.
Demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to grow, with no signs of it slowing down. Each year, demand is expected to grow by 25% resulting in 14x growth by 2030.
X-MAT has gained support for its work with batteries from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. In 2020, the company was awarded a nearly $1-million contract to help fund the research for utilizing coal in batteries. To date, the company has received $10.7 million in contracts and grants.
As the company continues its research on batteries, it has recently expanded its battery lab, located at the X-MAT headquarters.
X-MAT launched in 2013. X-MAT developed a high-performance material that combines some of the best properties of metals (electrical conductivity), engineering plastics (lightweight) and ceramics (high operating temperature). X-MAT has had several partnerships including work with NASA, Space Florida and the NETL.