China power plant using banknotes to power city

A power plant in a Chinese city is using a greener alternative to coal to generate electricity, the Xinhua news agency reports.

The plant in Luoyang, China is burning old, damaged banknotes instead of coal. The plant says the notes can generate more than 600 kWh of electricity for the city, is better for the environment than coal.

The plant received permission from the People’s Bank of China for the notes to be burned. The bank also commends the use of the notes calling it an efficient way to generate electricity. The company can generate 1.32 kWh annually, the news agency reported.

The notes draw less pollution than burning coal does, which is a good sign for a country that is so heavily plagued by smog and pollution.

The damaged banknotes are mainly used to make paper products, the Dahe Daily reports.

China is not the only county that burns bank notes, The Telegraph says. The Bank of England destroys billions of pounds worth of banknotes once they become worn out or that have been withdrawn from circulation.

"With Henan's current unused paper money counted, the company can help generate 1.32 million kWh of electricity annually, which is equal to burning 4,000 tonnes of coal," a source with the branch told the news agency.

Users cracked jokes about the topic on Chinese social media.

"Burning money? Luoyang is such a rich city!" read one comment.