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UW SER’s Collaboration Proposal With Baker Hughes Selected for DOE Funding

November 11, 2021

The University of Wyoming will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a subawardee in a collaborative grant proposal with Baker Hughes Energy Transition LLC to develop innovative solutions and uses for coal waste.

The joint proposal is among seven projects nationwide recently selected by DOE. UW will support the Baker Hughes project team in researching an economic, novel use of coal waste in additive manufacturing processes.

The joint team will determine the benefits of combining coal-derived, graphene-like materials with polyetheretherketone (PEEK) filaments -- a critical feedstock used in additive manufacturing -- for use in 3D printing applications, such as fused deposition modeling or stereolithography. Coal-enhanced PEEK is expected to improve corrosion resistance and the strength of 3D printed parts.

The project builds upon ongoing and innovative research initiated by UW’s Center for Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCCC) in the School of Energy Resources (SER), which actively works to support existing markets and find novel, nonenergy uses for Wyoming coal.

Patrick Johnson, a UW professor of chemical engineering, has managed several of the carbon engineering initiatives for the CCCC. Johnson and his team have been working to develop advanced materials from coal, including graphene oxide, polyurethane adhesives, coatings and foams.

“Baker Hughes is a leading energy technology company committed to taking energy forward -- making it safer, cleaner and more efficient for people and the planet,” Johnson says. “We share Baker Hughes’ commitment and look forward to collaborating with its DOE project team to advance innovative ways to develop environmentally sound and safe uses for coal waste.”

Once the project is funded, DOE will provide approximately $900,000 for laboratory and pilot-scale research and development, with an ultimate goal of commercialization.

A list of all of the selected projects can be found here.

For more information, call Christine Reed, SER outreach director, at (307) 766-6708 or email christine.reed@uwyo.edu.

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