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IEA Coal



The use of coal as a feedstock for chemicals, fuel and carbon products is undergoing a transformation. Since we last reported coal gasification has seen a substantial increase making the sector a global competitor for plastics and fibers production, but this also means that pollution issues need urgent attention. Pitch based carbon fiber, that formed 10% of the market, is now viewed as the route to lower priced fiber and overcome cost barriers to ground transport and construction materials. Coal to nanomaterials is at a key stage with new routes discovered to produce graphene from coal; graphene has massive potential to transform material science with uses emerging across industry that includes electric vehicles, aerospace, and computing. There is progress on the extraction of rare earth elements from coal, elements critical to technologies needed for the energy transformation, the use of lignite for agriculture is evolving, and lignite to decarbonised fuels has met key targets. With research programmes focused on 'coal to products', partly to avoid stranded coal assets, this rapidly evolving sector will impact future technology development across industry.

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IEA Clean Coal Centre, Apsley House, 1‌76 Upper Richmond Road, London, SW15 2SH, UK


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IEA Clean Coal Centre | +44 (0)20 3905 3870
Authorized representativeBenedicte BrooksEmail Addressbenedicte.brooks@iea-coal.orgPhone Number44 (0)20 3905 3870VATINGB656872392