AEG CoalSwitch Fuel Tests Reveal Promising Results

Independent testing of Active Energy Group (AEG) CoalSwitch™ pellets in the USA shows that the fuel burns cleaner and produces fewer pollutants than coal.

The CoalSwitch fuel was produced from wood waste residues at AEG’s Ashland, Maine plant and was delivered to Utah to undergo the first phase of the extensive testing program in the second quarter of 2021. CoalSwitch was produced using AEG’s proprietary steam enrichment process.

The main objective of this test phase was to evaluate the combustion and materials handling properties of CoalSwitch. The fuel was tested in a shaft mill, which operates at approximately 1 ton per hour, and then tested in a pulverized coal research furnace, operating at 1.3 MW thermal output. The furnace features an ignition system and an operational representation of full-scale utility boilers.

It was tested for a week both alone and blended with Utah bituminous coal at various ratios. CoalSwitch and coal were ground, with the ground fuel mixtures then used for combustion testing.

The main conclusions of the test report showed:

  • Using CoalSwitch reduced ash by up to 77% compared to coal;
  • CoalSwitch reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by 20% compared to coal (when used alone);
  • CoalSwitch reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by 60% compared to coal;
  • CoalSwitch has a 12.9% higher calorific value than white pellets – observed calorific value of 9,313 BTU/lb in testing (12.9% premium over white pellets currently produced for the market by competitors of ‘AEG);
  • CoalSwitch can be milled using existing equipment while reducing energy consumption;
  • CoalSwitch does not significantly decrease the calorific value of coal when mixed – with a mixture of 75% coal and 25% CoalSwitch, the calorific value was 11,807 BTU/lb, which is a drop of 7% compared to normal coal combustion values.

“Tests confirm that CoalSwitch continues to show its superior qualities over coal and white pellets, including its hydrophobic properties, burning at higher calorific values ​​than pellets, and reduced ash, carbon dioxide emissions. nitrogen and sulfur dioxide compared to coal,” said Michael Rowan, CEO. from AEG.

“Our clean energy badge provides a new path for hard-to-decarbonize heavy industries that are increasingly under pressure to reduce emissions and pollution. CoalSwitch offers a unique capability to achieve these goals without requiring expensive, complex and yet to be proven mitigation technologies like carbon capture.

“Customers can ‘drop’ our CoalSwitch fuel and see immediate and significant reductions in emissions and air pollution. »

Testing was conducted in Utah by Brigham Young University, Rocky Mountain Power (a subsidiary of PacifiCorp), University of Utah, Chalmers University of Technology, and Reaction Engineering International.

The program was independently funded through Rocky Mountain Power’s Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan (STEP). The STEP plan decided to test the fuel via the coal-fired research furnace and the program was completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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