December 16, 2008

Biodiesel from Coffee

I should have posted on this the other day when I noticed a small article on the idea, but now that the NYT has a full blown article on it; I'll just have to pass it along. Biodiesel from coffee grounds; sounds great. I am a big fan of biodiesel, reading up on it when I can, and see it as a supplement to our fuel supply. When I saw this I thought "Yes! More good stuff from coffee."

The idea is simple, waste coffee grounds still contain oil, and that researchers from the University of Nevada figured out how to convert that oil to Biodiesel that can run in most diesel cars without modification as an additive to regular diesel at a minimum. Of course the problem is collecting the used coffee grounds and then processing them efficiently. One hope would be some sort of mass collection in urban areas of the waste coffee stream, and converting it in smaller quantities to biodiesel. The other thought is to set up production next to coffee manufacturers that do the extraction at the plant - think instant coffee. The question here is if the coffee beans in that stream actually have anything left of value. Won't solve the world's oil addiction, but it may change how we think about waste streams locally and offer a better more economically feasible approach to certain businesses. I don't think I'll be setting up a still and a conversion process anytime soon in the garage here at

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 16, 2008 7:59 AM
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