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Pure power


A summer’s afternoon spent among the vines. Sounds idyllic – but for flies and wasps, attracted by the fallen fruit.

With its 48,000 orange trees, the Spanish city of Seville is running a pilot project to generate electricity from the spoiled fruit on its streets.

First 35 tons – from a yearly 5,700 – are sent to a water treatment facility where the methane produced will power the generator.

A single ton of oranges not used for Grand Marnier or jam provides around 50 kWh – supplying five households with enough electricity for one day.

The potential is enormous; purification plants consume around 40% of the energy needed for the city’s water supply.

Excess electricity could be fed back into the grid.


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