Friday, February 25, 2011

Biodiesel From Coffee Grounds

We often use Vournas Coffee Trading for a green coffee source because they carry some of the regional coffees we use in our espresso. I was on their website to see if they had a certain coffee I was looking for and I discovered their news section. They had some interesting information that I had never heard before in my seven years in the industry. Here is an article on making biodiesel from spent coffee grounds I found intriguing:

Would you believe it if I told you that researchers reported today that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering our cars and trucks? It is true. In a new study released today, researchers reported that spent coffee grounds contain between 11 to 20 percent oil by weight, which is about as much as traditional biodiesel sources such as palm and soybean oils.

They postulate that the spent coffee grounds could potentially add 340,000,000 gallons of biodiesel to the world's fuel supply. The scientists collected spent grounds from a multinational coffeehouse chain and separated the oil. They then utilized an inexpensive process to convert 100% of the oil into biodiesel. The resulting fuel actually smells like coffee and has an advantage over traditional bio-fuels in that it is is more stable due to its high antioxidant content. And, solids left over from the conversion process can actually be converted into ethanol!

Who knew that coffee could be so good for the environment and taste so wonderful. Encouraging news for our world.