If you thought your cup of coffee was only good for giving you a burst of energy, think again. Researchers at the University of North Dakota are developing a process to convert waste from coffee processing plants – from the grains to the packaging – into green energy, according to recent news reports.
The university’s Energy & Environmental Research Center is working with Vermont-based bioenergy firm Wynntryst LLC and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to develop a gasification power system powered by coffee residue, plastic packaging, textiles and Keurig single-serve plastic cups – a Green Mountain product, reports EcoSeed.
Through an advanced fixed-bed gasifier system, EERC and its partners will attempt to turn the hodgepodge mixture of processing plant waste into clean synthetic gas, or syngas, reports Environmental Leader. The syngas will then be used in an internal combustion engine or converted into high-value biofuels or chemicals, EL reports.
The research center has already developed small gasifier systems powered by a variety of feedstocks, including forest residues, railroad tie chips, turkey litter and other biomass, Chris Zygarlicke, EERC deputy director for research, told EcoSeed.
EERC and Wynntryst will evaluate how much syngas can be produced from Green Mountain Coffee waste through a series of pilot-scale tests, reports Utility Products and SeeNews.com. The results of the tests will be used to develop a commercial demonstration system for multiple Green Mountain sites.