China burning currency notes to generate electricity


Why is China burning money? Hint: It’s not a metaphor

China produces over 6,000 tons of damaged paper money each year. You might be wondering where this money ends up? Well, the answer is that it is all burnt to generate electricity.

Photos taken on Wednesday at an electric power company in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, show a truck carrying over 3 billion yuan (470 million US dollars) worth of notes. The bundles are first shredded before the small pieces are burnt with straw.


According to Zhu Hongwei, an employee at the company, each truck weighs around 30 tons, and the company usually ends up burning around 1,800 tons of notes each year. Zhu told China Radio International that the damaged paper money is a good material to generate electricity, as it has a high heat value and contains less moisture.

“Thirty tons of damaged money can generate 30,000 kWh of power. Assuming that each household consumes 100 kWh a month, the money we burn in one month can provide electricity for a household for 300 months,” said Zhu.