Scientists Create Biofuel Using Ground Coffee Beans

Coffee carSome refer to coffee as their fuel, but now it’s actually being used as an automotive biofuel.  According to an article published in The Daily Mail, researchers at the University of Bath say that used coffee grounds could be a sustainable fuel source for powering vehicles. Rhodri Jenkins, a PhD student in sustainable chemical technologies and first author of the study, sees hope for coffee as a biofuel: “We estimate that a small coffee shop would produce around 22lbs of coffee waste per day, which could be used to produce around two liters of biofuel.”  The research highlights the potential for waste coffee to work its way onto forecourts to be a ‘truly sustainable’ biofuel.  Who knows? Maybe a coffee biodiesel could be used on a small scale, such as fueling our vehicles used for deliveries.

This isn’t science’s first venture into using coffee as a biofuel. Four years ago, a prototype car that runs on coffee was created a BBC1 science program using a converted 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco. The car was driven the 210 miles between Manchester and London powered only by roasted coffee granules.  But at between 25 and 50 times the cost of running a car on petrol, the inventors admitted it wouldn’t please motor industry bean-counters.

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This Week’s Think About This: A look into the US Prison System‘s use of prisoners as a form of free labor.  Learn more about the Prison-industrial Complex.

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