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Brain Power => Science and Research => Topic started by: Ginger on December 20, 2008, 04:50:38 AM

Title: New Biofuel Made of Coffee
Post by: Ginger on December 20, 2008, 04:50:38 AM

 What would you say if you walked on the street and the air smelled like coffee instead of burned gas? Although the very few people who can't stand the smell of coffee (assuming there are any) may be disappointed, for those who aim at having waste turned into fuel, good news is here: coffee and biofuels just became one. A team of experts from the University of Nevada have managed to obtain diesel fuel from coffee grounds leftovers.

It's not even hard to do, claimed the team, comprised of Mano Misra, a professor of engineering, Narasimharao Kondamudi, and Susanta K. Mohapatra. They stated having employed regular chemistry techniques both in order to extract the oil they needed for the process from the coffee grounds and to turn it into fuel. Also, the whole process did not require more energy than the typical fuel manufacturing, and the price of the biofuel was estimated at about one dollar per gallon (some 22 cents per liter).

Once again, the discovery was completely accidental, and it was related to the fact that Misra found coffee contains an important amount of oil. “I made a coffee one night but forgot to drink it,” he explained, as cited by the NY Times. “The next morning I saw a layer of oil floating on it.” Then, together with the other researchers, he concluded that, if the used coffee grounds were rich enough in oil content, this could be put to good use.
Based on 50 pounds (23 kg) of material bought from Starbucks stores, their analyses indicated that some 10-15% of the coffee waste weight represented extractable oil. But obtaining the waste may prove harder than extracting its oil, since there are only a few places this could be bought from, such as the bulk roaster that the researchers will use for their program.
Now, don't get your hopes too high, coffee won't be the next major breakthrough in fuel industry. Actually, all the coffee waste on the planet could only produce about 1% of the US diesel requirements for a year. “It won’t solve the world’s energy problem,” shared Dr. Misra. “But our objective is to take waste material and convert it to fuel.” And the exhaust does smell like a fresh cup of coffee.

www.softpedia.com (http://www.softpedia.com)
Title: Re: New Biofuel Made of Coffee
Post by: bolingitboy on December 22, 2008, 10:39:27 AM
i can't see the point of wasting a good cup of coffee just to fuel a vehicle when that can be achieved by using plain water.
Title: Re: New Biofuel Made of Coffee
Post by: bolingitboy on December 22, 2008, 10:44:33 AM
waste coffee can serve a much better purpose if simply converted to organic fertilizer, a process that has zero cost. converting it to biofuel certainly sets us back two-ways: (1) cost in processing; (2) processing method that requires burning of energy that contributes to GHG emissions.
Title: Re: New Biofuel Made of Coffee
Post by: glacier_71 on December 22, 2008, 12:17:20 PM
it's just like processing corn for fuel. it may eliminate our dependence from foreign oil and some environmental issues. the downside is however great, because the demand for corn for fuel is too high that it affects the supply and the price of many corn-related products. the same thing with coffee.
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