We’re investigating the development of advanced materials from coal through energy efficient and clean processes. Australia has one of the largest brown coal reserves with an estimated 430 billion tonnes (lignite). Although coal has typically been used as fuel, it is also a resource for producing gases, liquids and other chemicals. The non-fuel application of brown coal is likely to increase with new processing technologies where high-value products can be developed at lower costs.
The structure and composition of coal is suitable for producing a wide range of materials, including but not limited to carbon fibre, graphene and its derivatives, carbon dots, mesophase pitch, activated carbon, and artificial diamond. These materials can be used for the manufacturing of lightweight structures for mass transport, energy storage and conversion devices, and selective adoption systems for purification and emission control.