Next time you have a Pistachio milk shake, you might indirectly be contributing to the green cause. If things work out according to plan, the southeast Turkish province of Gaziantep, which contributed almost 50 percent of the country’s 6,800 ton Pistachio export last year, would build a new green city in a few year’s time, powered by leftover Pistachio shells, which were till now considered as waste and a problem for authorities. Ingenious indeed, and proves that there are various means to go green than the traditional renewable energy sources.
Burgeap, a French environmental engineering company, came up with the idea after realising the potential of the energy goldmine the city was sitting on. While green cities across the world are located in places blessed by either wind, solar or hydro energy, Gaziantep plans to tap into its industry.
Seda Muftuoglu Gulec, a municipal green building expert, was quoted by the news agency, AFP, as saying that the basic idea is to create a form of biogas by burning the shells, which in turn will be used to produce energy in plants to meet the heating needs of the planned new city. “Gaziantep’s potential in pistachio production is known, as well as its considerable amount of pistachio shells waste,” he added, though he was unable to provide a specific timeframe for the whole project to be implemented.
If you look at the practical side of implementing such a technology, it is clear that the authorities would be doing it in small, feasible stages. The pilot project would just cover 55 hectares. Based on its success, the officials are keen to expand it to a full fledged new city, which would be around 3,200 hectares and have an expected population of a little over 200,000. The proposed city will be 12km away from the province’s capital city, also named Gaziantep.