What do you do with oranges? Eat them? Make orange juice? If you’re the city of Seville in Spain, you’d use oranges to make energy. Energy? Yes! Seville is known for many things—culture, art, beautiful architecture, and flamenco dancing—but if you ever visit the city in the springtime, you might also notice over forty thousand azahar (or orange blossom) trees in full bloom. It’s a beautiful sight. But what happens when these oranges ripen and fall from the trees? Until now, those once beautiful oranges have become, well, rotting fruit lining the streets of Seville. That’s when Emasesa, the municipal water company, came up with an idea. Why not turn those unwanted oranges into something useful? When these oranges ferment, they produce methane. Emasesa wants to use this natural gas and turn it into clean energy. This energy will then be used to run one of the city’s water purification plants. If all goes well with this pilot program, the hope is that this energy-producing method will make enough electricity to store away on the power grid. Those working on the program believe that with all the excess oranges lying around Seville, enough energy can be generated to power approximately seventy-three thousand homes. Now that’s an ORANGE-inal idea we can get behind!
March 12, 2021