North-West University
Overview of innovation

Green Coal is environmentally friendly coal briquettes produced from discarded fine coal, bio-char material, and proprietary chemical binders. The briquette reduces sulphur emissions during combustion by approximately 50%, while also increasing the burning effectiveness.

The bio-char addition to the formulation is considered a renewable energy source and therefore carbon credits can be claimed for the reduction in the CO2 production. The use of Green Coal provides an efficient system for greener coal gasification, which is ideal for use in electricity generation and other industrial steam raising applications.

South Africa produces 255 million tonnes of coal annually, of which 60 million tonnes are not usable due to its perceived poor quality. These 60 million tonnes of discarded coal also contain at least 15 million tonnes of fine coal. This coal is not used and is therefore stored on mine sites. The coal still has a lot of energy (higher heating value of 16 MJ/kg) associated with it but cannot be used in the current equipment. Therefore, by using the fine coal during the production of Green Coal, the unusable discarded coal can be processed into a usable product. This allows mines to increase their coal reserves through the utilization of discarded coal. 

The end product will primarily be offered to industrial coal users using boilers. Another market potential exists in electricity generation, providing an alternative to conventional coal in the power stations.

Type of Intellectual Property protection
Innovation Opportunity Type
​Mining and quarrying
Natural Resources
​Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Green Energy
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 5 – Prototype tested in a controlled environment
Brochures, business plans, prospectus or other documents
Website link