Seville orange trees

Seville turns its oranges into electricity

Seville turns its oranges into electricity

The fruit picked from the city’s streets can fully power the local waste treatment plants

The Seville City Council has ventured on an innovative approach to treating the organic waste generated from the bitter oranges that grow on the city’s streets every winter. The fruits, which are not edible (unlike the common orange) will be collected for a trial project, which in collaboration with energy company EMASESA will convert them into two products: the peels will become compost and the juice will go into the production of biogas (mostly methane) which is used for the production of electricity.

In a great example of circularity, the power produced this way will go toward feeding the treatment plants’ own electrical needs, making them self-sufficient.

1700 tons of oranges are produced by Seville’s decorative street trees

Seville has some 46,000 orange trees lining its streets and squares and they are an indelible symbol of the local identity, as anyone who has visited the city knows. Their fruit is collected by the municipal cleaning services and it usually ends up in the landfill but now this is about to change.

The project will start with an initial quantity of 35 tons of oranges. It is calculated that each ton of the citrus can produce 50kWh of electrical power, enough to satisfy the consumption of 5 households per day, so the initial trial amount could power 150 homes. Naturally, there would not be enough fruit to constantly provide household electricity, but every annual harvest could provide enough to meet the needs of the waste treatment plants of EMASESA to make them sustainable, explained Seville’s municipal portal.

Waste will not go to waste, so to say, as the orange peels, which form half of the mass will be pressed and converted into compost that can be used in the agricultural sector.

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