Coffee grounds have found quite a number of applications over the years- from being used in cosmetics instead of microplastics, through unblocking drains and replacing chemical fertilizer, all the way to being an ingredient in biofuel. But as great as all these can be, not many of them can beat the latest technology for carbon capturing, with the star of the show being- oh yes, used coffee grounds.
A team of scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea, came up with this incredible idea while they were drinking their morning coffee. They put themselves to the challenge to not only reduce waste, but also utilize it into something of a global importance- carbon capturing.
To create their perfect material, the guys took used Colombian coffee grounds (dark roast and finely ground) . They then soaked these in a solution of potassium hydroxide, which was heated to 65 degrees C and stirred for 24 hours. After that, the mix was dried in a standard oven at 100 degrees C, and then moved to an argon-atmosphere furnace, where it was heated to up to 900 degrees C. This last step is what activates the carbon-capture ability.
According to their publication in the latest journal Nanotechnology, the property of capturing the gas under pressure was incredibly good. What is more, the team believes that once the gas is captured, the coffee grounds can be used as a much cheaper and cleaner fuel source, giving it a third miracle property after cutting down waste, and capturing carbon.
The technology is very cheap as it uses free coffee grounds, and it holds a huge potential for future developments in the field.
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