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Energy from peaches

By Spiros Tzelepis

A Greek Senior High School student proved that it is possible

An innovative scientific project was undertaken and successfully accomplished by a Senior High School student under the guidance of his engineering teacher.

Specifically, the student, Kalpakas Athanasios, and his teacher, Stavros Photiou (both coming from Edessa, a city in northern Greece), presented a project called "nuclear energy from peaches" which was included in the "Technomathia" programme organized by the General Committee of Research and Technology.

Coming from a Greek area which produces a lot of peaches -in fact this area is the No. 1 peach producer in Greece- they have thought to examine two objectives:

  1. The thermal energy available from burning the peach pits which are plentiful as they are produced by the processing of peaches in the canning factories of the area.
  2. They produce energy from peaches and this energy is use to heat the houses in the city

The two researchers started thinking that the quantity of the peach pits available for use in the area is about 34.000 tons/year. They calculated that the heat produced by burning the peach pits is 123.488.10(6) kcal/year which is equivalent to 12.348,8 tons oil/year.

Consequently they have designed an installation appropriate for the burning of peach pits. The specific installation can produce hot water and steam enough to provide the houses of the area with heat and cover the energy needs of the tin factories on a constant basis.

The installation proposed by the two researchers

Finally they proved that with the energy produced through this procedure they would be able to cover the energy needs of their city. The whole installation with little changes could be used for burning other forms of biomass as the branches of the trees after the pruning (for the specific area they are estimated to 180.000 tones/year).

What the researchers tried to prove is:

  1. There are ways to avoid the pollution from SO2 produced by burning the mineral fuel.
  2. The dependence on oil for energy can be reduced, and therefore the waste of foreign exchange can be limited.

The two researchers proved that they can heat their city; however, to turn their research into reality they need support from the state.


I would like to thank Mr Photiou who provided me with the material to write this piece

S. Tzelepis

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