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U.K.-based Active Energy Group plc in early June announced it has received a notice of allowance for the Canadian patent for its CoalSwitch process. The company also indicated that the production of CoalSwitch is now underway at its facility in Maine.
AEG’s CoalSwitch technology produces high-calorific, high-bulk-density biomass pellets. According to the company, CoalSwitch is produced primarily from forestry waste and other industrial cellulose waste products. The product can be fired with coal in existing coal-fired power plants at any ratio, up to 100 percent.
On June 2, the company announced that CoalSwitch is now being produced at its production facility in Ashland, Maine. AEG said deliveries of the fuel to PacfiCorp.’s Hunter Valley power plant were scheduled to commence during the following days. The power plant is scheduled to begin testing the fuel during the week of June 14.
The Ashland facility was previously granted an initial permit to produce 1,000 tons of CoalSwitch through July 31. Emissions data from that production will be supplied to the state of Maine for consideration of an extended permit that would allow the Ashland facility to produce 35,000 metric tons of CoalSwitch annually.
One week later, on June 7, AEG announced it has been awarded a notice of allowance for the Canadian patent for its CoalSwitch process and the beneficiation of biomass.
According to the company, the notice of allowance will ensure AEG holds the legal rights to exclude any other Canadian company from producing, selling or using the claimed CoalSwitch process for 17 years after the date of issuance. AEG said the proprietary CoalSwitch process includes subjecting steam-exploded biomass to a second washing step to remove additional salts and light volatile compounds derived from the biomass.