Pistachio shells to heat Turkish city

pistachios
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 madlyinlovewithlife

A new "eco-city" is being planned in Turkey, and while the idea is still awaiting approval from authorities, how the buildings and homes will be heated has already been decided on -- with pistachios, of course.

Turkey is one of the world's top producers of pistachios, exporting 6,800 tons of the nut last year alone. Gaziantep, the south-eastern region of the country where the new city will be located, produces a majority of the nation's nuts, exporting 4,000 tons last year.

"Gaziantep's potential in pistachio production is known, as well as its considerable amount of pistachio shells waste," said Seda Muftuoglu Gulec, a green building expert for the municipality.

"We are planning to obtain biogas, a kind of renewable energy, from burning pistachio shells," Gulec told AFP.

When designing the city, planners looked at potential renewable energy resources, and the pistachio waste stream couldn't be overlooked. Just as if the region was abundant in wind power, they'd be looking to wind energy production. Planners say as much as 60 percent of the region's heating could be met from renewable energy resources.

Both private and public buildings in the city would be heated by burning the shells. The city will cover 3,200 hectares and house 200,000 people. It would be located 6 miles from the province's capital city, also named Gaziantep.

A small 55-hectare pilot project will be built and tested before the entire city is built.

Tags: Cities | Clean Energy | Technology | Waste