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Biofuels From Waste Coffee Grounds

Updated on December 3, 2017
Rayan Milkton profile image

Rayan Milkton, is an Architect(Software), whose hobbies include creative writing.

There is a growing concern about the increasing amount of greenhouse gases generated, which undoubtedly harm our atmosphere. More and more people are showing undue interest in biofuels. Even something as insignificant as waste coffee grounds could be useful as a biofuel to power automobiles.

Many metropolitan cities throughout the world, produce tons of waste coffee grounds daily, and these invariably end up in landfills, and produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas far worse than carbon dioxide, thereby aggravating global warming. Moreover, landfill tax would be another unnecessary expense for the concerned organizations who generate the above litter. Normally people consume millions of cups of coffee daily in any cosmopolitan city, and this generates tons of residual coffee grounds. For instance, a city like London generates 200000 tons of waste coffee grounds every year. Ever increasing public pressure to produce newer biofuels from food has pushed scientists and researchers to make biofuels out of waste coffee grounds.

Hitherto, the energy potential of waste coffee grounds was unexplored. Its usefulness as a fuel source was grossly ignored. Spent coffee grounds have a very high energy value and contains valuable compounds. Coffee oil can be extracted from waste coffee grounds, and this can be mixed with mineral diesel to produce biodiesel. The abovementioned biofuel can be used to power many passenger buses running in a metropolitan city. For example, in London this fuel can run up to a third of the city buses. Furthermore, the biodiesel produced from coffee grounds, emit twenty percent lesser carbon dioxide compared to normal diesel. Mass production of biofuels created from waste coffee grounds would be a step in the right direction to reduce global warming.

Using inedible plants or cooking oils to produce biofuels is yet another expensive proposition. There is no such thing as waste, it is just a highly valuable asset sitting in the wrong place. Reducing greenhouse gases by recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels will be the pressing need of the hour.


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