Fuel Specifications

NuCoal is a renewable fuel developed from biomass waste designed for use in existing coal-fired power facilities seeking to reduce CO2 emissions. NuCoal is a carbon-neutral fuel with characteristics virtually identical to coal, making NuCoal an attractive and economical renewable solution.

  Wood Wood Pellets NuCoal Coal
Moisture Content (wt%) 30-45 7-10 <1-5 10-15
Calorific Value (Gj/t) 9-12 16-20 20-25 17-28
Fixed Carbon (%db) 20-25 20-25 28-40 50-55
Volatiles (%db) 70-75 70-75 55-65 15-30
Bulk Density (t/m3) 200-250 550-750 700-950 800-850
Volumetric Energy Density (Gj/m3) 2-3 7-11 15-20 18-24
Hardgrove Grindability Index 20-25 25-28 50-60 55+
Hygroscopic yes yes no no
Biological Degradation yes yes no no
Self Heating yes yes no no
Source: Canmet ENERGY Natural Resources Canada; Integro


The Problem with Pellets

Industrial wood pellets are the leading biomass fuel for coal-fired utilities today, despite the natural limitations associated with their use. Wood pellets and coal perform have very different physical and energy characteristics that create a number of operational challenges for a modern coal-fired plant. 

Wood pellets have lower energy values and bulk density than NuCoal, making them more expensive to ship. Wood pellets take on water and therefore require covered transportation and storage, increasing handling costs for the utility. Wood pellets are fibrous and more difficult to grind than coal or NuCoal, requiring capital specialized equipment to process at a coal plant. The relatively low energy value of pellets requires reduces coal plant efficiency, which dampens profitability.

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By contrast, NuCoal can use the same massive logistical infrastructure built around the properties of coal. It's water-resistant nature enables open transport and outdoor storage, like coal. Existing expensive ball mill systems can pulverize NuCoal into a fine powder without modification. NuCoal's high energy value enables utilities to produce renewable power without sacrificing plant efficiency. 

NuCoal was designed to perform within the coal-fired process as it exists today. Utilities can realize the environmental benefits of our biomass fuel without making large investments in plant equipment, modifying plant processes, or suffering losses in plant efficiency. These qualities make NuCoal the lowest cost, least capital intensive and most reliable renewable energy alternative.