Using the power of the sun to roast green chile

July 7, 2022 10:00 am Published by

Greener approach to a New Mexican staple opens possibilities for sustainable food roasting

Sandia National Laboratories engineer Kenneth Armijo, who grew up on a chile farm in Sabinal, located between Albuquerque and Socorro, New Mexico, thought there was a “greener” way to roast green chile. The results of his experiments roasting chile with concentrated sunlight will be shared at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ conference on energy and sustainability next week.

“The principle behind this research was to see if high-temperature food roasting, not just peppers, could be done with solar and produce comparable results as traditional propane roasting, and the answer is yes,” Armijo said. “We used green chile to showcase the culture of New Mexico. Combining the state-of the-art facilities and research at Sandia National Labs with the culture, food and people of New Mexico is just so special. What other national lab in the world would have done this?”

In his day job, Armijo uses the power of the sun at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility to explore new ways to capture the sun’s power for electricity and industrial process heat.

Read the full Sandia Labs News Release.

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