Ecology And Environment

Almost Free and Low Cost Ways to Produce Electrical Power



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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions are today's buzzwords. All responsible citizens try to minimize their energy use in their everyday lives. One unlikely source, Macadamia Nut power is helping to reduce greenhouse gases. Macadamia trees, native to Australia, are evergreen native rainforest trees that grow anything from 6-40 feet tall. There are currently more than 4.5 million trees planted and numbers are growing fast.

My hometown of Gympie in Queensland, Australia, is considered to be the birth place of the macadamia tree. Suncoast Gold Macadamias (Aust) Limited in Gympie is a world leader in the production and processing of premium quality macadamia nuts. Macadamias are the world's finest nuts.

Macadamias have an extremely hard shell and the waste by-product was causing quite a concern for the processors until they came up with the idea of Macadamia nut power. Its burning quality is superior to many other fuel products, and five years ago, the world's first macadamia nut-fuelled power plant was opened in Gympie. The huge supply of previously discarded shells has now become a low cost way of producing electrical power.

The nut shells are used to power up to 1600 Queensland homes a year. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equates to around 9500 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent to taking 2000 cars off the road each year. This is green energy' at its best making quite a considerable impact on the environment.

The Company is being supplies by more than 130 growers throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales with an amazing 4.5 million trees between them! This results in 6000 tonnes of nuts for processing.

When the nuts arrive at the plant, they are placed in drying bins for 6-8 days where the moisture content in the kernel is reduced to 1.5%. Then they are cracked and the kernels separated and sorted electronically while being inspected by the staff. The kernels are then graded and packed in foil packs, gas flushed and vacuum sealed for high quality and long shelf life. The kernels are packaged in a number of forms whole, halves, or diced. The range also includes raw, roasted, flavored or chocolate coated lines

With 70% of its product being exported internationally, the company makes sure that its high quality is maintained. The United States is the largest market for Macadamias in the world, consuming half of the world's production. Suncoast has developed macadamias flavored with abalone, lobster, squid, and even Wasabi for the Asian market. Wasabi macadamias have become extremely popular everywhere, even in the United States.

Macadamias are a valuable food source and they contain no cholesterol. Macadamia Oil contains 22% of the Omega-7 palmitoleic acid and is used in cooking as well as in the cosmetic industry. Sound medical research has shown that eating these delicious nuts may significantly lower the risk of heart disease, with the added benefit of helping the environment remain clean and green.

If you have never tasted Macadamia Nuts before, I recommend them as a delicious snack treat that will have you coming back for more, again and again!

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