Information Sheet 09: Co-firing coal with wood

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What is Co-firing?

Co-firing refers to the combustion of biomass (process residues, forestry residues, purpose grown crops, other organic wastes) with coal. It therefore involves the use of two quite dissimilar fuels and may be considered essentially as a fuel management process to ensure the best blend is identified for each particular case. Cofiring may be used for strategic or economic reasons particularly when there is a shortage or high cost of one of the fuels. A blended fuel may also facilitate combustion.

It is a particularly relevant energy option for New Zealand as we have large quantities of both resources. We are faced in the near future with the prospect of a 70 PJ per annum “wall of wood” from forest harvesting and have coal reserves sufficient to last for centuries.

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