You are here

World Environment Day 2013 - Making Coal Cleaner

Before I started working for the UK’s largest coal manufacturer, I always saw the coal industry as a dank, dark, dirty, and frankly uninspiring place. If you told me that it was possible to make a ‘cleaner’ coal, I’d have scoffed at you. But, with emphasis on the words ‘coal manufacturer’, let me tell you a little bit more about our coal, and how it’s not quite so dirty anymore.

Contrary to popular belief, coal is not dug out of the ground, shoved straight in to a bag and delivered to your front door. In fact, our coal can go through quite an adventure before it’s packed in to a bag and shipped away.

Ecoal – The very first environmentally friendlier coal.


Ecoal50 is the first fuel of its kind. It is made from 50% coal, and 50% renewable materials. These materials are taken from plants, most usually nut shells, fruit stones, and pulp. We use a molasses binder in all of our coal products, which is a renewable material itself. The CO2 given off by the molasses when it burns, is absorbed by the plants from which it derives, so it’s considerably more climate friendly than the binders used by other manufacturers, which include starch, and synthetic resins. Ecoal has been rigorously researched and tested, so we know that whatever renewable materials our coals contain, are perfect for the job.

Ecoal50 has been designed to burn for up to 40% longer than house coal, and produces up to 80% less smoke, and 25% less C02, so it’s ideal for use in smokeless zones. And for those who are wondering, it looks like ordinary coal, burns like ordinary coal, has a better heat output, burns for longer, and leaves little residue behind. So not only is it better for the environment, we use less coal to produce it, and you use less of it! At CPL we’re dedicated to staying ahead in our field, with comprehensive research and development into new products, and advanced clean coal technologies. We’re always improving our Ecoal range, and we’re hoping to develop an even cleaner coal in the near future.

Homefire – The market leader of smokeless fuels.


The first ‘friendlier’ solid fuel we ever produced was ‘Homefire’, which is now over 40 years old. Like its Ecoal descendant, Homefire produces 80% less smoke, and 25% less CO2 than ordinary coal. It also burns for up to 40% longer, so you can save time, money, and help reduce your carbon footprint just by switching to Homefire fuel.

And it doesn’t just stop at coal. We also do everything we can to lower the environmental impact of our UK based manufacturing plant. We even recycle the heat we produce from the ovens and combustors.

Can coal really ever be eco-friendly?

No power source can ever give us everything. Truly clean energy sources such as wind power and solar power can often be expensive, and controversial. Until we fully deplete the earth of its coal, oil and gas resources, clean energy will never be given the consideration (or investment) that it requires. While it is undoubtedly the future of energy, we must always aspire to do our best with what we have. So in the mean time, we can do everything we can to make what we’re using as eco-friendly as possible. Although some may dispute the term ‘eco-friendly coal’, in comparison to what we used in the past, this new and improved coal is vastly superior, and is the product of considerable work and research. Developing brands like Ecoal50 means that we can pump less CO2 in to the atmosphere each day, and we can make better use of our coal supplies.

CPL Industries – Supporting World Environment Day all year round

At CPL we’re always looking in to new ways to lower our impact on the environment. In 2012 we launched CPL Renewables, which focuses on the development and distribution of renewable wood pellet heating solutions. We are currently investing in more efficient vehicles, tracking devices and driver training. We also encourage car sharing and alternative forms of transport for our staff. Many of the timber products that we sell are sourced from Forestry Stewardship Council suppliers. Certified by the FSC ourselves, we are committed to sustainable forestry.