Microcoal Inc. utilizes patented technologies to decontaminate and upgrade low-rank coals to match the energy levels of high-rank coals for use by power utilities. MCI's proprietary on-site integration with the utility process not only cleans up coal at the power plant prior to combustion by significantly reducing contaminants, but also reduces GHG emissions and significantly improves fuel efficiency.
The last half-century has seen a major shift towards low-rank coals. Increased environmental restrictions and the significantly cheaper price of low-rank coals are key drivers for undergoing a fuel switch. Despite their low cost, there are still operational and capital costs involved in switching fuels and the price differences between low-rank coals and higher-rank coals will vary depending on location of a power producer. Operational difficulties/costs are manifested in equipment overload; safety considerations and derating resulting in lower power generation than plant rated capacity resulting in a significant drop in revenues.
MCI's technology allows utilities to upgrade cheap, low-rank coals to create high-quality, clean coal with more benefits than high-rank coals, thus eliminating derating and consequently increasing revenue for utilities.
MicroCoal allows coal-fired power plants to efficiently leverage low-rank coals, which are currently priced at around US$ 14 per tonne compared to high-rank coals priced as high as US$70 per tonne. The price spread between PRB and its Eastern Coals competitors has been historically 20% to 30% less expensive over the past 30 years. For a typical power plant of 500MW, current savings by utilizing MCI's technology have the potential to reach more than US$ 20-40 million annually.