Seville oranges deposited by trees on city streets used to generate electricity

Spain’s southern city of Seville, famed for its oranges, is collecting oranges fallen and discarded on public roads and using it to generate electricity.

Under a pilot programme, the city’s municipal water company, EMASESA is piloting a scheme to produce energy from leftover oranges, demonstrating its commitment to a circular economy.

Seville City Council employs around 200 people during the winter season to collect the oranges which fall from the 48,000 city trees and are discarded on public roads. The city collects 5.7 million kilos (126 million pounds) of the fruit deposited on the streets.

Around 35 tonnes of the citrus fruit collected then goes through a process of juice extraction for the generation of electric energy through biogas, while the peel is composted to become fertiliser used in farming. In the purification process, the organic matter in the wastewater is stabilised through anaerobic digestion that generates a methane-rich biogas (65%), which is used as fuel in cogeneration engines for the production of electricity.

EMASEA aims to use the orange biogas, as a source of renewable energy, to power the EDAR Copero Wastewater Treatment Plant in the region. The plant is expected to generate about 1,500 kWh, equivalent to the consumption of 150 homes. 

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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