Mar. 6 - A company in Poland is manufacturing coal-based pellets which it says could significantly reduce carbon emissions from the country's power-generating plants. The pellets combine coal with cleaner burning biofuel ingredients, producing a fuel that is just as efficient as conventional coal, but more environmentally friendly. Jim Drury has more.
UPSOT: MACHINERY Ninety percent of Poland's electricity is generated by coal-fired power stations. These carbon pellets are made from coal, but also include non-polluting biofuel components like glycerine and other plant materials. Called VARMO pellets, their creators at a company called Polski Koks, say they could actually help the country lower its carbon emissions. And new projects director Gerard Galeczka, says that improvement begins at the production stage. SOUNDBITE (Polish) GERARD GALECZKA, DIRECTOR OF NEW PROJECTS AT POLSKI KOKS, SAYING: "We've used machinery not used before, such as an 'extruder', which is a machine previously used in ceramics, such as brick. The dryer room has an ecological dryer because it works at very low temperature, so there are no harmful elements evaporating." And after the material has been ground together and dried, it's produced in batches as pellets for distribution. Galeczka says the benefits to customers and air quality will be immediate. UPSOT: MACHINERY SOUNDBITE (Polish) GERARD GALECZKA, DIRECTOR OF NEW PROJECTS AT POLSKI KOKS, SAYING: "After application of our recipe, after forming it into pellets, which you have seen, we get a 90 percent reduction of the most dangerous pollution, especially benzoapyrene pollution. We also achieve the reduction of ash, that is the visible pollution coming from our chimneys." After six years of testing at its factory in the southern Polish village of Suszec, Polski Koks launched VARMO last month. The company plans to produce 60,000 tonnes of the fuel a year. UPSOT: MACHINERY The Polish government says it's trying to reduce its carbon emissions in line with EU requirements with new technologies rather than by cutting coal output. Polski Koks believes VARMO pellets will go a long way towards achieving that goal.