Researchers learn something new about the caffeinated beverage we love.
Scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno, researching the prospect of extracting oil from used coffee grounds report that the process is not that difficult. The cheap and environmentally friendly biofuel is abundant enough to potentially manufacture several hundred million gallons a year to power cars and trucks.
The idea was formed by accident says the chief researcher. “I had left my coffee out one night, and the next morning, I noticed that there was a kind of oil around the edge of the cup,” Mano Misra, a professor of engineering said. “Every cup of coffee has it. I decided to do some tests on the oil.” The analysis proved that the grounds contained roughly 10 to 15 percent oil by weight. The researchers then extracted the oil with standard chemistry techniques and converted it to biodiesel. For the study, the team collected leftover grounds of espressos, cappuccinos and other coffee preparations from the Starbucks coffee chain.
Being that the process is not particularly energy intensive, the researchers estimated that biodiesel could be produced for about a dollar a gallon. According to the Department of Agriculture, the world’s coffee production is more than 7.2 million tons per year.
Source: Consumer Energy Report