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High Quality Biodiesel Production from Spent Coffee Grounds

Manoranjan Misra, Narasimharao Kondamudi, and Jason Strull. Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, University of Nevado at Reno, Chemical Engineering Program, Mailstop 388, Reno, NV 89557-0136

The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) researchers have developed a novel process to extract high quality biodiesel from spent coffee grounds. Biodiesel from coffee grounds is stable over a long period of time, and it burns more quickly than vegetable oil based biodiesel. The UNR process involves two simple steps, extraction of oil from the spent coffee grounds, and then conversion of oil to biodiesel. This is a low-cost and renewable source of waste materials for biodiesel production. A typical “ground-to-garden” coffee of Starbucks can yield 10-12% biodiesel. Starbucks generates over 200 million pounds of spent coffee grounds per year in the United States. We estimate to produce almost 3 million gallons of biodiesel per year. This is a low-cost and renewable source of energy. The added benefit of the extraction of oil from spent coffee grounds is the reduction of carbon dioxide emission. Due to the extraordinary chemical nature (antioxidants) of coffee-derived biodiesel, it is very stable.