Nuts for Clean Energy: Turning Pistachios Into Biogas

pistachio shells photo

Known as “green gold” in Turkey, green builders are looking into using pistachio shells for clean energy to heat Turkey’s new eco-city.

Pistachios are downright delectable, whether as a classic ice cream flavor or as a main ingredient in baklava. But there’s much more to these salty treats than just their gastronomical applications.

Officials in Turkey are planning the country’s first sustainable city and they’re considering burning pistachio shells for biogas to heat both the public and private buildings. The new city, named Gaziatep, will potentially house 200,000 people and it will be located 6 miles from the province’s capitol (also named Gaziatep).

It’s all about utilizing the renewable resources that you have on hand and in an area that produces 6,800 tons of the nut annually, the shells need a better end game than simply turning into waste.

“We thought the ecological city could be heated by burning pistachio shells because when you plan such environment-friendly systems, you take a look at natural resources you have,” said Seda Muftuoglu Gulec, a green building expert for the municipality on AFP.

What’s Biogas?

Biogas is also known as biomethane and it’s a product of anaerobic digestion of organic matter. A solid waste like pistachio shells is then upgraded to a purity standard that makes it safe enough to use as a source of clean energy. It can be used to provide electricity and heat as well as fueling cars. This pistachio shell biogas could provide up to 60 percent of the city’s heating needs.

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Image: mjtmail