Turkey's New Eco City Could Be Heated with Leftover Pistachio Shells

As one of the world's largest producer of pistachios, Turkey has plenty of pistachio shells to go around. So, in the tradition of turning food waste into energy, officials are proposing to burn pistachio shells for heat in Turkey's first ever eco city—and it's not a totally nutty idea.

The environmentally friendly city is planned for Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey, which is also the heart of the country's pistachio harvest. "Gaziantep's potential in pistachio production is known, as well as its considerable amount of pistachio shells waste," the municipality's green building expert, Seda Muftuoglu Gulec, told AFP. The region exported 4,000 tons of pistachios last year—just think about how many shells that is.

The pistachios shells could be burned for biogas that is then used for heat, providing up to 60 percent of the city's heating needs. According to French environmental engineering company Burgeap who first came up with the pistachio idea, the region's Antep pistachios were its most feasible source of energy.

In some ways, pistachio heat is not even the most grandiose part of the plan for this new eco city. Turkey aims to build up from nothing an entire 3,200 hectare metropolis that will house 200,000 people. Elsewhere in China and India, ambitious plans for green cities have attracted plenty of attention but few takers. The city plans seem to rise detached and isolated from local reality. Turkey is still in the planning stages with its eco city, but at least they may have found a local energy source. [AFP]

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