High Value Carbon Products from Domestic Coal
Profile last edited on: 2/25/2019

Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Principal Investigator
James C Withers
Activity Indicator

Company Information

MER Corporation (AKA:Materials & Electrochemical Research Corporation~ATS-MER LLC~ATS MER LLC)

7960 South Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
   (520) 574-1980
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   02
County:   Pima

Phase I

Phase I year
Phase I Amount
Outside of fuel and heat value of domestic coal there are very limited applications to manufacture carbon products including the byproduct coal tar pitch (CTP) which is a high value feedstock to produce high value carbon products whose value exceeds the fuel and heat values of the coal. There is no current domestic producer of CTP in spite of its value to produce battery anodes, graphite fibers, carbon composites, graphene, carbon dots/nanomaterials, supercapacitors, etc. Although the approach is to utilize domestic coal to produce byproducts and coal tar pitch (CTP) which is to be purified with a high mesophase fraction, due to the limitations of a Phase I only the CTP purification and mesophase is being produced and utilized as a feedstock to produce graphite for lithium ion battery anodes. The utilization of domestic coal to produce the CTP would then be undertaken in Phase II or another Phase I. An imported in stock CTP shall be utilized as a feedstock for purification and maximizing mesophase generation that shall be (1) pyrolyzed to produce a graphitic particulate with enhanced lithium capacity in standard Li-ion battery anodes, (2) utilized as a binder to make carbon-carbon (C-C) composite anodes for Li-ion batteries that have enhanced lithium capacity and maintains non-flammability if punctured that is fully demonstrated and patented, and (3) vacuum volatized into a silicon (Si) particle fluid bed to coat the Si particulate with a graphite coating for additive to all Li-ion battery anodes that enhances performance.

Phase II

Phase II year
Phase II Amount