Paper Money

City in China burns banknotes to generate electricity

A power plant in Henan Province in China is burning old and damaged Chinese banknotes instead of coal.

This is the first time this has been done in China, according to a BBC article posted online Dec. 10. The plant is located in Luoyang.

The BBC article quotes from official Xinhua news agency reports, saying that one ton of “notes can generate more than 600 kWh of electricity, and is better for the environment than burning coal. The country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has given permission for the notes to be burned, and says it’s an efficient way to make electricity.”

Banknotes that are withdrawn from circulation in China are usually used to make paper products. Of course the idea of burning the notes was pounced upon by Chinese social media users, according to the article.

“Burning money? Luoyang is such a rich city!” says one Weibo user, while another person writes: “I’m willing to go a year without electricity, please give me a pile of cash!”

But one user has a craftier suggestion: “Hire me as an employee, I promise I won’t take any money.”

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