Italy TravelLemon Aid for Sicily’s Power Grid

Lemon Aid for Sicily’s Power Grid
Published on Monday, April 27, 2015 by

Three Lemons With LeavesBack in elementary school, you may have used a lemon from your mother’s kitchen to make a simple battery that could power a single lightbulb. Now, imagine if you could use lemons to light up your entire neighborhood: In Sicily, the region’s massive amount of citrus waste (rinds, pulp, seeds) is being used to power a generator that can provide electricity to 333 homes.

The project, funded by the Citrus District of Sicily, University of Catania, and a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation, will take Sicily’s 340 million metric tons of citrus waste and turn it into biofuel capable of producing the 1 megawatt needed for that number of homes. Given how much money it normally costs Sicily to dispose of all that inedible fruit product, the region might save up to 10 million Euros in the process.

Project coordinators estimate that 20 plants would take care of all of the lemon leavings, which are known as pastazzo. Truth be told, it’s not just lemons, but also oranges and other types of citrus fruits; most of these crops are used to produce fruit juice in Sicily. Giuseppe Castiglione, undersecretary of the Ministry for Agriculture, says that there’s a new emphasis in all of Italy on finding and financing renewable sources of energy, and that while in Cremona, for example, there are already 130 biogas plants powered by pig-farming waste, this is the first such initiative in Sicily.

Coca-Cola uses only Italian orange juice, and, has firm ties with three Sicilian food-processing companies, tapping into 18% of the juice supply produced on the Italian island. so this partnership with the region and its university makes sense. It seems that there will soon be new reason, at least in Sicily, to refer to electric power as “juice.”

By Kathy McCabe

Ready to travel to Italy? Perillo Tours has been leading group trips throughout Italy since 1945 and can custom design an independent itinerary for your dream Italy vacation!

Taking your first trip to Italy soon? Learn everything you need to know when you get your FREE copy of The First Timer’s Guide to Italy by contributor Kathy McCabe

Have Your Say
Your Name ↓
Your Email ↓
Your Website ↓
Tell us what you think of this story ↓
You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>