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Food: Leftovers
Home Orange Oil Extractor   (+3)  [vote for, against]
Put those orange peels to good use!

You see all sorts of Orange oil products today in cleaning agents and furniture polishes. Orange oil also burns nicely, making it an ideal substance to burn in a lantern. Yet every time you eat an orange, you peel it, eat it, and throw away the rinds.

What if every home had a device for using the rinds? An oil extractor? It would shred up the rinds, and squeeze the oil out of them. You wouldn't get much out of each orange, but if you ate a lot of oranges you might be able to collect a significant portion of orange oil. You could burn it in a small lantern, use it as an air freshener, make household cleaning products, or sell it to a company and make a profit. (Citrus Petroleum, anyone?) Also, the shredded rinds could be used in recipes needing them.

I wonder if you could power a car on orange oil...
-- BinaryCookies, Sep 01 2002

Driving on orange oil
[MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 13 2015]

You could power a "lemon" with lemon oil.
-- FarmerJohn, Sep 01 2002

Prioritize the dumping of citrus peels to the bottom of a waste landfill, and after sufficient time, heat, and pressure just mine the oily carbonaceous strata and bottle up any ooze that can be pumped away. “Place your citrus peels, seeds, and pulp as well as citrus tree leaves and cuttings into the orange recycling container at curbside”
-- reensure, Sep 01 2002

In a GCSE chemistry class I extracted orange oil. First we collected up orange peels for weeks. Then we spent probably half an hour scraping the pith off the rind. When we had maybe 100 to 200 cm^3 of peelings - enough to fill the round bottomed flask - we distilled the oil under reflux.
(Correction : probably not with reflux - likely mis- remembering that.)
We managed to extract something less than 2 mls of oil.

I'm sure you /could/ power a car with orange oil... but probably not very far.
-- Loris, Apr 13 2015

You can certainly drive on orange oil, according to <link>
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 13 2015

A friend works in the oil room of the citrus plant a few miles from here. He makes orange oil. Cattle love the part of the peels that are left.
-- cudgel, Apr 13 2015

Like most such schemes, the limiting factor is efficiencies of scale. When you're dealing with a massive juicing operation, it's worth the cost of the plant to recover. When you're at home, the extraction plant will cost much more than the oil recovered from it.
-- MechE, Apr 13 2015

So how many miles do you get to the orange?
-- Loris, Apr 13 2015

Seriously, though, one of the interesting things about renewable energy is that often the product is so low-grade that it won't scale up easily to global scale - "diseconomies of scale" start to bite.
For example with dedicated biofuel production the raw product (wood, pampas grass, whatever) is relatively heavy and bulky; you don't have to transport it very far before you've used more joules than it can yield.

As MechE points out above, orange peel is a nice exception for the case of a large juicing plant - it is effectively concentrating the resource as a side-effect, and processing yields a high-value (and energy-dense) product.

But as I think is now clear, this just isn't an option for home-owners. Well, unless they could band together and donate them to an upcycling centre (disclaimer: self- promotion).
Failing that, I dry them out and burn them as firelighters... don't like that? Google tells me there are :
15 Surprising Uses for Orange Peels
5 Good Uses for Your Citrus Peels
14 Amazing Benefits and Uses Of Orange Peels For Beauty
10 Amazing Ways To Use Orange Peels
8 Ways to Use Citrus Fruit Peels in the Home and Garden
-- Loris, Apr 13 2015

My local supermarket uses orange peel as a packaging for oranges.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 13 2015

//My local supermarket uses orange peel as a packaging for oranges.//

You should join a campaign to get them to cut down on excess packaging. Ostentatiously peel your oranges before you leave.
-- Loris, Apr 13 2015

I do _everything_ ostentatiously.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 13 2015

random, halfbakery