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X-BATT partnering with CONSOL to accelerate development of coal-based anodes; new JV

X-BATT, a developer of advanced battery materials, is partnering with CONSOL Innovations, a subsidiary of CONSOL Energy Inc., to accelerate the development of coal-based anode technology. The work will be performed by C-BATT Innovations LLC, a newly formed joint venture between the companies, which is focused on advancing domestic battery materials derived from coal toward ultimate commercialization.

In 2020 X-BATT was awarded a 3-Year, $1-million NETL Contract to research ways to utilize coal as an anode material in lithium-ion batteries. X-BATT found that coal, when mixed with its proprietary resin system can significantly improve anode capacity when compared to graphite.

Collaborating with a forward-looking energy leader like CONSOL propels our technology to the next level. The ability to supplant graphite with an abundant, domestically sourced coal presents an eco-friendly solution for the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries.

—Founder and CEO of X-BATT, Bill Easter

Established in 2019, X-BATT developed Polymer Derived Ceramic (PDC) technology for anode materials. PDC allows for tuning of the material at the atomic level, where the relative amounts of carbon, silicon and oxygen can be tailored to specific properties.

PDCs are the result of inert gas pyrolysis of ceramic-forming polymers processed below 1100 ˚C. The result is a crosslinked amorphous silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) matrix that remains electrochemically active if processed correctly.


SEM and schematic for typical PDC powder. Source: X-BATT

The ceramic-forming polymers can be integrated with impure carbon materials such as coal or recycled graphite.

The storage mechanism for SiOC PDCs can be attributed to the nanodomains created through the amorphous structures, consisting of segregated carbon networks, nanovoids and SiOC tetrahedral units.

CONSOL Energy is a producer and exporter of high-BTU bituminous thermal coal. It owns and operates some of the most important productive longwall mining operations in the Northern Appalachian Basin. Its flagship operation is the Pennsylvania Mining Complex, producing approximately 28.5 million tons of coal per year.


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