Florida Orange Peels Could Be Hydrogen Source

Florida firm researching method to convert hydrogen-rich gas released from citrus peels into methanol to power fuel cells capable of providing about 75 percent of the power at an interstate rest stop in Florida.

Published: 22-Mar-2005

Florida, the nation's largest citrus producer, each year creates about 8 million tons of orange peel waste that mostly goes to cattle feed.

But researchers at a Fort Lauderdale-based energy company think some of those peels could be used to create power. Ener1 Inc. is working on a $1.1 million project to convert hydrogen-rich gas released from citrus peels into methanol to power fuel cells capable of providing about 75 percent of the power at an interstate rest stop in Florida.

The goal is to create "a road show" for the state's millions of tourists and Florida drivers by demonstrating the potential of hydrogen energy, while at the same time using a waste product that the Florida citrus industry for years has struggled to find ways to dispose of, other than as cattle cuisine.

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