The head of the Wyoming Business Council says it's time to start thinking of coal as more than just a fuel to make electricity.

Shawn Reese says people have been too focused on the use of coal as a power source, without realizing the hydrocarbon might have a variety of other applications.

He says potential ways to use coal include in activated carbon, which is used in emission control devices. Reese says coal can also be used to make carbon-fiber, which is seeing increased use in manufacturing everything from auto parts to fishing rods.

Coal can also be used to make graphene, which like coal fiber is used in an increasingly wide range of products including airplanes and cars. He says the use of graphene as a high-tech material is still in it's infancy, but will likely increase greatly in the future.

Reese says the Business Council is trying to attract businesses to the state who may have alternative uses for coal in mind.

He also says he thinks it's important for Wyoming to look at the supply chain for coal in the state as well as encourage supporting industries that may be related to the use of coal all the way down to the retail level.