Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now
Schematic of polymere process

Polymer Composites

Polymer coatings using coal    Mold for the coal-based polymers    Coal-based polymer

Polymers possess an assortment of commercial and industrial applications ranging from the foam found in cushioned furniture to the coatings that protect sensitive electronics on military aircraft. The main focus of the Johnson Materials Research Group is modifying polymer systems to achieve enhanced material properties for specialty applications. Recently, polyurethane adhesives, coatings, and foams have been synthesized by the Johnson Materials Research Group from the natural precursor, coal. 


Impressively, the resulting coal derived polyurethanes exhibit increased resistance to thermal degradation and greater yield strength than most commercially available polymers. Through the incorporation of advanced materials such as graphene oxide, oxidized coal char, and carbon nanotubes (also synthesized from coal), mechanical properties of polymer systems are augmented even further and new electrical properties emerge. 

Chemical modification is a further interest to broaden the application area of coal derived product based on desirable functional groups and target properties. Recently, hydroxyethylated coal extract derived polyurethane coatings are successfully synthesized and show better flexibility, chemical resistance and thermal stability than unmodified coatings.

Contact Us

Patrick Johnson

Department of Chemical Engineering

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6524


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon