Onion Power


26 Responses to “SLICED, DICED…and JUICED FOR POWER”

  1. KC - Fresno, Ca. Says:


    Left you comments on your previous thread regarding your live coverage I watched this morning.

    Interesting report – as usual

  2. KC–

    wrong blue shirt I was referring to- He is wearing more of a dress shirt–

    very interesting– making waste productive– wow! hopefully, this is whole concept gets put into real use!

  3. Interesting story….now you need a follow up to see what type of cows they are feeding the onion waste to. If they are beef cows; is that a way to pre flavor them with the onion taste. 🙂 When we were in England we would eat at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and the chicken had a fishy taste as they feed the chickens fish meal.

    I imagine that this was a lot more fun than MJ, but not as fun as Honolulu.

  4. what is this KYTE thing? I just checked it out and got Times Square-

  5. another interesting concept by Barbara…

  6. Adam:

    Have you seen this one? Apollo 11– the re-enactment of 40 years ago?

  7. and for you too, LDG– This re-creation is way cool!!!

  8. @Susan

    I was so compelled by the Space Program that even as a toddler I watched every… every… American manned launch. (A habit I kept until the STS missions, by which I time I was away) The first time my parents let me stay up all night was to watch the lunar landing and first step. I was nine years old.

    Thank you for offering, but in complete honesty, I shan’t watch the re-creation.

    I can still see the original.

  9. I remember the first walk on the moon. I hate to admit it but I was much older than 9. Actually, I was taking graduate school classes back then. And hubby was in med school, went to Woodstock that year, and hadn’t even met me yet. Forty years have passed so quickly.

  10. back On Topic for a moment…

    The big deal with that onion packing plant, if you didn’t get it from the report, is not waste is used as a fuel. Direct use of waste has fueled the Paper industry (wood waste) for over a 100 years… In the last 30 years, Almond growers in California have made (state subsidized) profits by using trimming and shell waste to fuel power stations…

    What makes *this story* so trick is that they’ve invested in a way to use wet waste of complex composition and turn it into…

    …which is more commonly recovered from older landfills (like tomato packing waste dumps).

    Two thoughts come to mind about this story, though:

    1) how much of the financial advantage comes from state subsidies of co-generative or alternative power systems?

    2) how much of a penalty are they looking at under the various Carbon Abatement schemes (California’s, or the proposed national Cap-and-Trade Tax)? Biogas is horrible from a clean-energy viewpoint; at best you spend a fortune scrubbing the exhaust stream.

    Just some things to think about.

  11. KC - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    Good morning everyone

    Hope all are doing well on this fine Friday

  12. LDG,
    Do you mean that this idea is not economically sound? I am no expert on this (not even close!) but it seems like it’s not a good idea. Please tell me if I am interpreting it correctly.

  13. Good Morning KC.
    Not a nice day here. Cool and wet. Not exactly summer weather.

  14. KC - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    Not a nice day here either – 108 degrees today and for another week.

    I picked 36 tomatoes this morning. Every 3 days, I have to pick as they are growing sooooooo rapidly. This year my Roma’s are 3 to 5 inches long, very meaty, with hardly any seeds. So good and juicy.

  15. KC,
    What’s your secret for good Roma’s? We have 2 topsy turvy pots…one is Big Boy and the other is Better Boy. So far only green ones, with just 1 starting to turn.

  16. @Sylvia

    “Do you mean that this idea is not economically sound?”

    I can’t say, as I haven’t seen the workup on the project. Generally, these sort of projects are marginal from an economic point of view, and that only by the reduction of disposal costs otherwise incurred. California makes some such projects into surprisingly profitable ventures by subsidizing the heck out of them (the Almond-fueled cogeneration plants are a good example of that).

    My real points were both to question the un-subsidized merit of the project (which might be fine; don’t know) and to ask if that goes south on them if the next round of environmental taxation hits.



    Hi there! Wow, I guess hot weather plus unmetered water supplies really *do* grow great tomatoes.

    (most of the Fresno area is unmetered; I’m presuming your place is as well)

  17. Thanks LDG.

    I think the hot, sunny weather has more to do with it than water. We water the pots every day.
    When you say unmetered, do you mean unlimited? We have water meters but only to allow the Cincinnati Water Works to know how much to bill us. We can use as much as we want but of course we pay for usage.

  18. @Sylvia

    Right, unlimited. Most of that region pays a rather low flat rate per month for unlimited water use… use a little, use a lot, same price…

    …in a state where water is one of the most prized resources. Go figure.

  19. LDG,
    That is amazing that California can afford to allow unlimited water usage for one low flat rate. We are billed quarterly for the amount used. Our bills are higher in the summer due to adding water to the pool and watering plants (and grass if there is a major draught). Most of the time we let the grass go dormant because there is too much to water.

  20. KC - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    Yep, we are unmetered at this time. Clovis, Ca. is on meter and we are suspose to be on meter in 2010 or 2011.

    We have all of our veggies and herbs on drip, and they only get watered once a day (early, early, in the morning) for 10 minutes.

    Even tho we are unmetered, we do like to conserve our water. We refuse to use our dishwasher for that exact reason. To much water waste there.

    We are only allowed to water our lawns on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, so we have our timers set to do that during the night.

    Our flat rate at this time is approximately $49.00 every other month.

  21. KC - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    No secret for the roma’s. We just stuck the plants in the ground and they took off. We did plant them in a different area of the yard this year so maybe that made the difference.

    As to our beefsteaks, and celebrity tomatoes, they are still thinking about getting ripe. Lots and lots of green ones, and I find a red one about once a week so they are way slower than the romas.

    My bellpeppers are bigger than the plant they are growing on which cracks me up. Can’t figure that one out.

    As for all of our variety of hot peppers – they are growing at a tremendous speed also. Have to pick them every other day.

  22. dpggiesallover Says:

    …and no one’s growing onions?!
    LOL Good morning, all. I, too, had wondered about the economic feasibility, but not on LDG’s wavelength-it’s just that so many ideas and practices tend to end up a snake bite.
    Perpetual motion-raising onions can provide the energy to raise the onions-hmmm…
    And on the Twitter…what is a Gucci van, and how does one wear matching ones? *Sigh*…so much to learn, so little time…

  23. @LDG—

    It is still a cool link– and it shows the actual events– 😀

  24. KC - Fresno, Ca. Says:


  25. Adam Housley Says:


    Your points are interesting as always, but a couple of things about this plant. First, they are not burning anything, the methane gas is sent to massive fuel cells which in turn produce heat and water and a very small amount of pollution. The reduction is massive. The resulting biogas powers two 300-kilowatt fuel cells, which saves $700,000 a year in energy costs. The power is equivalent to the demand of 460 homes and represents up to 30,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year, according to Southern California Gas. It should eliminate 30,000 tons of CO2e emissions annually.


  26. @Adam Housley

    Thanks for answering; this is a matter of some curiousity to me. I’ve a couple more questions, if I may?

    “two 300-kilowatt fuel cells…” ~ excellent. US$700k a year return on investment… after all advantages, presumably… at roughly what installed cost and expected fuel cell lifetime?

    “eliminate 30,000 tons…” ~ also considered quite desirable in the current fashion. Should I presume that elimination is vs. mass landfill of the biowaste stream and the release from composting, or is it vs. some other power source fuel?

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