Energy blog

Green Coal

Published by NickSted on 04 November 2011

I'm doing a trial on green coal from New Energy Farms in Marlborough.  This is a new form of a renewable energy crop.  I have some figures on pricing, energy content, bulk density, ash content etc but the proof of the pudding will be in its actual use.  I intend to use it in a wood burning stove probably along with conventional wood.  I will report here on how I find it (when the weather gets a bit cooler).


What is it?

Any energy crop harvested and compressed into a user friendly form.

The new local material being used is miscanthus (elephant) grass grown at Wadswick near Corsham.  It grows up to 8ft in height, is then harvested, dried,  shredded and compressed into briquettes.

It looks like this:                                 

                                   Picture from New Energy Farms  

How do you use it?

In wood burning stoves or on open fires, on its own or with other fuel.   I don't know whether it could be used as the main heating fuel for a house and qualify for the proposed RHI biomass tariff of 9p/kWh. More on this later.

How is it delivered?

In 10 kg plastic bags or by the pallet load of 50 bags.  It has to be plastic as it absorbs moisture and this will affect its burning quality. 

How much will it cost?

Not sure - it will depend on whether it's delivered or collected.  The indicated price for collected is about £5 to £6 a bag for small quantities to £3 per bag for a pallet load.

More data and results to come.  Watch this space.