Nevada researchers have recently found out that waste coffee grounds can be used to create biodiesel. Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao Kondamudi discovered that spent coffee grounds contain 11 to 20% oil by weight, as much as traditional biodiesel sources of palm, rapeseed or soybean oil.
Producing more than 16 billion pounds of coffee around the world, coffee producers can feed the auto industry from spent grounds of espresso, cappuccino, all in all adding 340 million gallons of biodiesel to the world’s fuel supply.
To verify their theories, the scientists collected spent coffee grounds from a multinational coffeehouse chain and separated the oil, then used an inexpensive process to convert 100% of the oil to biodiesel, ready to feed some car or truck.
So, the next time you drink your morning coffee, think you could get some money by recycling it. Car fumes will smell like coffee, and everybody would be happy about breathing coffee biodiesel. Not a very long-term future, but a possible one, among the many existing alternative energy solutions, for the crisis we’re in. Estimated figures suggest that annual global production of biodiesel will reach 3 billion gallons by 2010.