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Coffee grounds can help create biodiesel, offset fossil fuels

Instead of going to the trash or perhaps a compost pile, a new study suggests that used coffee grounds could help feed algae that produce biodiesel.

Published in the magazine Review of renewable energy and energy storageThe study was first discovered by New map set, which notes that coffee grounds can already be turned into biofuel – no algae needed. But this is a more complex process than producing fuel from algae, which is nothing new.

In this process, algae are grown on an inert material such as polyurethane foam or nylon, ingesting nutrients added to the water and producing oil as a by-product. That oil can then be turned into fuel.

University of Michigan Biodiesel Project for Algae

University of Michigan Biodiesel Project for Algae

Researchers at the UK’s Aston University have experimented with using coffee grounds as a growth medium and nutrient for the algae Chlorella vulgaris. After some research on the process, they discovered that the coffee-eating algae produced “enhanced biodiesel that produces minimal emissions and good engine performance, while meeting specifications.” of the United States and Europe,” according to the study.

While this is still purely experimental, it is a new example of how this year’s energy constrain, due in part to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, can be a boon to investment in natural gas. new biological material. It will certainly drive more attention to the field. Chevron broke ground last week on the expansion of its biorefinery in Germany. That site uses raw materials and includes carbon dioxide to produce it, saying it can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 93% compared to fossil diesel. BP is also betting big on biofuels with last month’s purchase of Archaea Energy, which produces biogas that can be used as an alternative to natural gas.

2014 Peterbilt 579

2014 Peterbilt 579

Internal combustion vehicles will remain in fleets of vehicles for decades and require fuel, and sometimes it seems like regulators aren’t focused enough on getting rid of them. Low-emission biofuels can help fill the gap.

A variety of sources are being tested—fast biodiesel from Cargill at Love’s, for example. The fat in the fast food fryer has shown a second life in biodiesel.

While some studies have suggested that ethanol made from corn is worse for global warming compared to gasoline, studies involving wheel-to-wheel biodiesel emissions point in a more positive direction, suggesting research like this is worth pursuing — as long as it works in tandem. with new car policy.

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