Some see coffee. We see a new source of biodiesel.

Researching how oil-rich coffee dregs can sustainably fuel transport.

Coffee cup
Coffee cup

Every day, the average café produces about 10kg of coffee waste. Rather than watch baristas put the dregs into the bin, we’d prefer to see it converted into two litres of biodiesel. Dr Chris Chuck, Whorrod Research Fellow, is leading a group focusing on the development of renewable biofuels and they’re using coffee to do it.

They’ve discovered that biodiesel can be extracted from the dregs of anything from high-quality Arabica to Robusta which is used to make instant. The group’s work has the potential to make a major impact on the future of sustainable biofuels and has seen Chris working closely with industry and organisations including Airbus, Ford, BP and DEFRA.

“Around 8 million tonnes of coffee are produced globally each year and ground waste coffee contains up to 20 per cent oil per unit weight. This oil has similar properties to current feedstocks used to make biofuels. But, while those are cultivated specifically to produce fuel, spent coffee grounds are waste. Using these, there’s a real potential to produce a truly sustainable second-generation biofuel.” Dr Chris Chuck, Whorrod Research Fellow

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