For those chocolate lovers who believed that chocolate was the most perfect substance on Earth, another reason has arrived to love chocolates even more.
Now, cocoa bean shells that are left over after the chocolate has been made are being used as a biofuel. It’s actually happening in New Hampshire, which is also the home of chocolatier Lindt USA .
Recently, Lindt announced a partnership with Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) for the burning of cocoa bean shells to produce electricity from one of the three 50MW boilers at PSNH’s Schiller Station power plant in Portsmouth.
The shells are produced as a byproduct of Lindt’s manufacturing process, at its nearby factory in Stratham. The company has recently expanded the facility to incorporate the chocolate production process, which had previously taken place in Europe.
With the completion of a successful pilot, the joint project was approved last month by New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services. It is expected that Lindt will deliver the first load of shells to be burned under the agreement soon.
In the pilot test, it was seen that a 30:1 blend of coal and cocoa shells can be successfully integrated in one of the power plant’s two existing coal boilers. This means that the 50MW boiler will give off almost 15 million pounds less CO2 per year by incorporating the shells. At the same time, it will also solve the problem of disposing of the shells.
Lindt is one of the few chocolate manufacturers in the world which has complete control over every step of its production and supply chain, allowing the company to take such steps that contribute significantly to the protection and improvement of the environment as well the cocoa farmers and their communities.