China bans dirtiest coal types

China, which depends on coal for about 65 per cent of its energy, will ban sales and imports of coal with high contents of ash or sulphur in a move to promote cleaner types of the fuel and improve the nation’s air quality.

Coal with an ash content of more than 40 per cent and sulphur of more than three per cent is banned from sales and imports into China starting 1 January 2015. Lignite containing ash of more than 30 per cent and sulphur of more than 1.5 per cent is also prohibited. Other limitations involve coal with chemical content such as mercury and arsenic.

Coal used in some coastal and developed regions including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou should have ash content of less than 16 per cent and sulphur of less than one per cent, according to the regulation. Lignite is required to have a heating value higher than about 3,946 kilocalories per kilogram, a sulphur content below one per cent and an ash content below 20 per cent.

Source: Bloomberg News, 16 September 2014

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