Title: [GreenYes] Waste Coffee Grounds Offer New Source Of Biodiesel Fuel
Waste Coffee Grounds Offer New Source Of Biodiesel Fuel
ScienceDaily (Dec. 15, 2008) - Researchers in Nevada are reporting that
waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally
friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks.
In the new study, Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao
Kondamudi note that the major barrier to wider use of biodiesel fuel is
lack of a low-cost, high quality source, or feedstock, for producing
that new energy source. Spent coffee grounds contain between 11 and 20
percent oil by weight. That's about as much as traditional biodiesel
feedstocks such as rapeseed, palm, and soybean oil.
Growers produce more than 16 billion pounds of coffee around the world
each year. The used or "spent" grounds remaining from production of
espresso, cappuccino, and plain old-fashioned cups of java, often wind
up in the trash or find use as soil conditioner. The scientists
estimated, however, that spent coffee grounds can potentially add 340
million gallons of biodiesel to the world's fuel supply.
To verify it, the scientists collected spent coffee grounds from a
multinational coffeehouse chain and separated the oil. They then used an
inexpensive process to convert 100 percent of the oil into biodiesel.
The resulting coffee-based fuel - which actually smells like java - had
a major advantage in being more stable than traditional biodiesel due to
coffee's high antioxidant content, the researchers say. Solids left over
from the conversion can be converted to ethanol or used as compost, the
report notes. The scientists estimate that the process could make a
profit of more than $8 million a year in the U.S. alone. They plan to
develop a small pilot plant to produce and test the experimental fuel
within the next six to eight months.
Biodiesel is a growing market. Estimates suggest that annual global
production of biodiesel will hit the 3 billion gallon mark by 2010. The
fuel can be made from soybean oil, palm oil, peanut oil, and other
vegetable oils; animal fat; and even cooking oil recycled from
restaurant French fry makers. Biodiesel also can be added to regular
diesel fuel. It also can be a stand-alone fuel, used by itself as an
alternative fuel for diesel engines.
1. Kondamudi et al. Spent Coffee Grounds as a Versatile
Source of Green Energy. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,
2008; 081201155446010 DOI: 10.1021/jf802487s
Adapted from materials provided by American Chemical Society
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Community Environmental Education Specialist, D.C. Office of Recycling
D.C. Department of Public Works
202-645-8505 Direct Ext.
Rethink. Reduce. Reuse... And then Recycle.
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