Coffee grounds are important when producing biodiesel

Spent coffee grounds often end up in the landfill or, with any luck, in a composting plant for compost. Now a new study has found that they could be u...

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Spent coffee grounds often end up in the landfill or, with any luck, in a composting plant for compost. Now a new study has found that they could be used to feed biodiesel-producing algae.

It is already possible to turn discarded coffee grounds into biofuel, without involving algae in the process. However, it seems to be quite a complex process, which makes it less likely to be adopted on a large scale.

Oils extracted from algae are also used to produce biodiesel. The algae are often grown on inert material, such as polyurethane foam or nylon, and feed on nutrients added to the water to increase its oil production.

In an effort to make things simpler and faster, scientists at Britain’s Aston University tried using coffee grounds as a food and nutrient source for the algae. Chlorella vulgaris. After some experimentation, they obtained “biodiesel that produces minimal emissions and good engine performance, and meets US and European specifications.”

The best quality biodiesel was produced by exposing the algae to light for 20 hours each day, followed by four hours in the dark.

This is a breakthrough in the microalgae culture system, said Dr. Vesna Najdanovic, who led the study together with Dr. Jiawei Wang. “Biodiesel from microalgae attached to coffee grounds could be an ideal option for commercialization of new raw materials, avoiding competition with food crops. The use of this new raw material could reduce the felling of palm trees to extract oil and produce biofuels.

05 Ara 2022 - 10:00 - Lifestyle

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