Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city

Apr 18, 2014 by Fulya Ozerkan
Pistachios are already a key ingredient in Turkish baklava, but the country may now have found a new way to exploit the nuts known as "green gold"—by using their shells to heat a new eco-city

Pistachios are already a key ingredient in Turkish baklava, but the country may now have found a new way to exploit the nuts known as "green gold"—by using their shells to heat a new eco-city.

Officials are currently examining plans to build the country's first ecological city with buildings both private and public heated by burning pistachio shells.

And there can be few better locations for such a project than Gaziantep—the south-eastern region close to the Syrian border which produces thousands of tonnes of the nut every 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 , from burning pistachio shells," Gulec told AFP.

"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," she said.

"If the region was abundant in wind power, we would utilise wind energy."

The pistachio-heated new city would encompass 3,200 hectares, and house 200,000 people. It would be located 11 kilometres (6 miles) from the province's capital city, also named Gaziantep.

"Imagine it just like a separate city," Gulec said.

Pistachio country

If the project bears fruit, pistachio shells formerly regarded as waste could become a new form of energy.

Turkey is one of the world's biggest producers of , along with Iran, the United States and Syria, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Last year, it exported 6,800 tonnes of the nut, generating approximately $80 million (57 million euros) in income, up from 4,010 tonnes and $50 million in 2010, according to the Southeast Anatolia Exporters Union.

A pistachio tree in a field in Bahreman village, in southeastern Iran, on June 12, 2005

Gaziantep alone exported 4,000 tonnes last year, Mehmet Kahraman, from the union said.

A pilot project for the new city will run in a small 55-hectare area, before rolling out across the entire if successful.

The potential of pistachio shells was first uncovered by French environmental engineering company Burgeap which reported last year that the local variety known as Antep was the most feasible source of energy in the region.

Burgeap said as much as 60 percent of the area's heating could be met from .

The project is still pending approval from local authorities.

While Gulec declined to provide a firm timeline, she said that if officials at the municipal level reach an agreement—and if private land owners are convinced—it will be implemented in a "very short period of time".

Explore further: Spanish island eyes world first with wind, water power

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In-shell pistachios: The original 'slow food?'

Jul 15, 2011

Two studies published in the current on-line issue of the journal Appetite indicate that consuming in-shell pistachios is a weight-wise approach to healthy snacking, offering unique mindful eating benefits to help curb c ...

Pistachio company: Raw nuts may be bacteria source

Mar 31, 2009

(AP) -- The company at the center of a nationwide pistachio recall says the salmonella contamination could have come from raw nuts during processing but not a human or animal source in its plant.

Calif. nut firm: Kraft found salmonella in 2008

Apr 03, 2009

(AP) -- A company at the heart of a nationwide pistachio recall says Kraft Foods Inc. detected salmonella in its pistachios more than six months ago but didn't report it until last week.

FDA eyes NY firm in pistachio recall probe

Apr 02, 2009

(AP) -- Authorities looking into the nationwide pistachio recall said Thursday they are investigating a California nut processor's sister company in New York where officials last month found cockroaches and rodent droppings.

Recommended for you

Turning bio-waste into hydrogen

Jul 29, 2014

Whilst hydrogen cars look set to be the next big thing in an increasingly carbon footprint-aware society, sustainable methods to produce hydrogen are still in their early stages. The HYTIME project is working on a novel production ...

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2014
It's such bullshit - mostly - because SOLAR HEATING is so easy and cheap to make, get and use.....

AND store....

i.e. Water and thin walled (no real pressure) poly pipes and water tanks......

Or salt water - as the case may be - where it is freezing for weeks...
lonesomeCowboy
not rated yet Apr 19, 2014
It's such bullshit - mostly - because SOLAR HEATING is so easy and cheap to make, get and use.....

AND store....

i.e. Water and thin walled (no real pressure) poly pipes and water tanks......

Or salt water - as the case may be - where it is freezing for weeks...
y

solar energy is so cheap?
solar energy is so easy to store?
At least make a wiki search: http://en.wikiped...y_source
hangman04
not rated yet Apr 19, 2014
well since this is a carbon neutral way to handle things, why not? They are planting the damn nuts anyway :)) so why not get revenues also from the waste product (the shells).
Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2014
Silly Turkey, maybe they should invest in ducks.
baudrunner
not rated yet Apr 19, 2014
Silly Shootist, you want to burn ducks to generate heat?
Returners
1 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2014
solar energy is so cheap?
solar energy is so easy to store?
At least make a wiki search: http://en.wikiped...y_source


The long term cost of solar power over a 25 year lifetime of a panel at current prices is about 1.2 cents per kilowatt hour, which is about 1/9th of the grid cost of power in the U.S.

the way values are calculated by energy companies is severely under-estimated, as they appear to only be calculating about 3 or 4 years worth of value from the panels, which is just plain stupid and not representative of their long-term value...
hangman04
not rated yet Apr 23, 2014
as they appear to only be calculating about 3 or 4 years worth of value from the panels, which is just plain stupid and not representative of their long-term value...


Not quite. They are doing this probably because they suspect in 3-5 years the new generation of panels will be way efficient and maybe cheaper than their old solar panels, and they will not be able to financially compete for the remaining 15-20 years.

There is mechanical attrition (the 20-25 years you mentioned) and also technological attrition which can be less. For example in the case of computer hardware (your normal office desktop) many use a 3(5) year depreciation plan, not because after 3(5)y it won't work anymore, but just because it will be "morally" outdated and you have to buy another one so that it may keep up with the new software requirements and work productivity.