Press Release

Grid-scale Testing Shows CoalSwitch™ Significantly Reduces Ash, Nitrogen Oxide and Sulphur Dioxide Compared to Burning Coal in Power Plant

Low-carbon, clean energy pellet also outperforms “white” pellets in terms of heating value

ASHLAND, Maine, Feb. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Independent testing of CoalSwitch, the novel clean energy pellet from Active Energy Group (AIM:AEG) demonstrates that the fuel burns cleaner and produces fewer pollutants than coal while outperforming other “white” pellets.

“This testing confirms that CoalSwitch™ continues to show its superior qualities over coal and white pellets, including its hydrophobic properties, burning at higher heating values than pellets and reducing ash, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions compared to coal,” said Michael Rowan, CEO of Active Energy Group. “Our clean energy pellet offers a new pathway for heavy, hard-to-decarbonize industries which are increasingly pressured to reduce emissions and pollution. CoalSwitch provides a unique ability to achieve these goals without requiring costly, complex and yet-to-be-proven mitigation technologies like carbon capture. Customers can ‘drop-in’ our CoalSwitch fuel and see immediate and meaningful reductions in emissions and air pollution.”

The summary of findings from the report on the testing are as follows:

Use of CoalSwitch™ reduced ash by up to 77 percent vs coal. The tests showed significant reduction of ash deposition when CoalSwitch™ was used. When used on its own, CoalSwitch™ produced 77 percent less ash than coal. CoalSwitch™ / coal blends also resulted in a significant reduction of ash deposition, with higher CoalSwitch™ ratios producing less ash.

Use of CoalSwitch™ reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 20 percent vs coal. The tests showed significant reduction of NOx emissions when CoalSwitch™ was used. When used on its own, CoalSwitch™ generated 20 percent less NOx than coal. CoalSwitch™ / coal blends also resulted in a reduction of NOx emissions, with higher CoalSwitch™ blended ratios producing less NOx.

Use of CoalSwitch™ reduced sulphur dioxide (SOx) emissions by 60 percent vs coal. The tests showed that burning pure CoalSwitch™ produced significantly less sulphur dioxide than burning coal. Blended ratios also produced significant reductions in sulphur dioxide emissions.

CoalSwitch™ has 12.9 percent higher heating value than white pellets. During combustion testing, the observed heating value of CoalSwitch™ fuel was 9,313 BTU/lb, which represents a 12.9 percent premium to traditional white pellets currently produced for the market by the Company’s competitors, which underpins the economic value of CoalSwitch™.

CoalSwitch™ can be Milled using existing equipment while reducing energy use. The primary measurements of interest were the power requirements of the bowl motor and the ability to blend both CoalSwitch™ and coal. The test results confirm that CoalSwitch™ can be milled in an unmodified mill with only small changes required to the mill settings. Further, there was also a material reduction in mill power requirements when milling the CoalSwitch™ fuel compared to the milling of pure coal or biomass blended fuels.

CoalSwitch™ does not significantly decrease heating value of coal when blended. The test data also provided that with a mix of 75 percent coal and 25 percent CoalSwitch™, the heating value was 11,807 BTU/lb, representing a 7 percent drop from normal coal burning values.

The CoalSwitch™ fuel was produced from the waste wood residuals at Active Energy Group’s facility in Ashland, Maine and was delivered to Utah to undergo the first phase of the extensive testing program in Q2 2021. CoalSwitch™ was produced using Active Energy’s proprietary steam beneficiation process.

The primary focus of this phase of testing was to evaluate the burning and material handling properties of CoalSwitch™. The fuel was tested through a bowl mill, which operates at approximately 1 ton per hour, and subsequently tested in a pulverized coal research furnace operating at 1.3 megawatt of thermal output. The coal research furnace has a firing system and operational representation of full-scale utility boilers. It was tested over a one-week period both on its own, as well as blended with Utah bituminous coal at various ratios. CoalSwitch™ and coal were milled, with the milled fuel blends subsequently used for combustion testing.

The testing was conducted in Utah by Brigham Young University, Rocky Mountain Power (a subsidiary of PacifiCorp), the University of Utah, Chalmers University of Technology and Reaction Engineering International. The program was funded independently through Rocky Mountain Power’s Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan (the “STEP Plan”). The STEP Plan decided to test the fuel through the coal-fired research furnace and the program was completed in Q4 2021. The concluding report was completed in January 2022.

About Active Energy Group:
Active Energy Group plc is a London listed (AIM: AEG) renewable energy company that has developed a proprietary technology which transforms waste biomass into renewable energy.  Its patented product CoalSwitch™ is a leading drop-in biomass feedstock that can co-fire with coal or replace up to 100 percent of the coal in power stations without requiring plant modification. The company is developing commercial production facilities in Lumberton, North Carolina and Ashland, Maine which will supply power and utility customers, including the pilot program at PacifiCorp’s Hunter Power Plant in Utah. More information is available at