From pistachio shells to biofuel

Lowering methane emissions by repurposing pistachio shells

The more we learn about protecting the environment, the more we’re challenged to rethink waste and what to do with it. As we produce and deliver the number-one snack-nut brand in the U.S., we’ve also found new ways to eliminate the waste and effects of decomposing pistachio shells by transforming them into an alternative energy source.

Pistachio shells, when left to decompose, can contribute to methane and carbon dioxide emissions. Methane has a dramatic negative warming impact on the atmosphere, 80 times that of carbon dioxide. While methane warming is shorter lived than carbon dioxide, it still accounts for 25 percent of today’s global warming.

Cement production accounts for about 8 percent of global CO2 emissions annually, and pistachios shells offer a carbon-neutral fuel in place of traditionally high-carbon fuels like coal, natural gas, and tire-derived fuel. As cement manufacturers begin to reduce their carbon footprint, 100 percent of Wonderful Pistachio shells are currently being used as a bio-based heat source in the California cement industry.

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