Pistachio Power

The Nuttiest Biogas Around

Turkey, one of the world’s largest producers of pistachios, has begun using tons of the shells to produce biogas (methane) as an alternative energy source instead of dumping them in landfills. The country even plans to power its first eco-city using this unconventional fuel.

The planned 7,900-acre metropolis is expected to house 200,000 people in Gaziantep Province. This southern region near the Syrian border is the heart of Turkey’s pistachio production, yielding more than 50 percent of the country’s nuts. “When you plan such environmentally friendly systems, you take a look at the natural resources you have,” explains Seda Muftuoglu Gulec, a Turkish green building expert. “If the region was abundant in wind power, we would use wind energy.”

If the project goes forward, construction will start within two years and be completed within two decades. A pilot phase will focus on a 135-acre piece of land and, if successful, expand into the entire city. It may inspire other agricultural regions to look at what they typically consider waste as an energy source.

For more information, visit Tinyurl.com/PistachioPoweredCity.

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