December 11, 2008

Coffee grounds get second life as biodiesel feedstock

Extract oil from spent coffee grounds, then chemically alter the oil, and you have a biofuel from the remains of your morning fuel.

The extraction process yields about 10 to 15 percent oil, and a common chemical process, transesterification, converts the oil to biodiesel.

The researchers estimate that spent coffee grounds could produce as much as 340 million gallons of biodiesel each year. That's less than a day's worth of worldwide diesel consumption, but using more types of waste to produce biofuels reduces the pressure to convert cropland and undeveloped land to growing biofuels feedstocks.

Research paper:
Spent Coffee Grounds as a Versatile Source of Green Energy
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published online November 24, 2008

Researcher's homepage:
Manoranjan Misra

Related stories and briefs:
Process makes gas from biomass -- related research
Biodiesel beats ethanol -- comparison of biodiesel and ethanol

Back to ERN December 15/22, 2008



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