Students in Oman produce coal from coffee residue

    16 May 2021

    A group of Muscat students have managed to produce quantities of charcoal made from coffee residue.

    Used coffee grounds are usually incinerated or sent to landfill – and in landfill, rotting coffee grounds generate methane, a greenhouse gas around 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Is there a better way to recycle coffee grounds?

    Oman media reports: “The Gathwa Student Company at the University of Technology and Applied Sciences in Muscat has succeeded in producing experimental quantities of charcoal made from coffee residues as part of its project to participate in the Injaz Oman 2021 competition.”

    Ahmed Al Barwani, a member of the production and development of the Gathwa Company, said: “The idea of the product is based on recycling coffee residues for making charcoal. Where the work team began research and access to a number of research and studies on the use of coffee residues, in order to reach a product that contributes to reducing environmental disturbances such as cutting trees and achieving a number of other health benefits.”

    The project has qualified for the second stage within 40 products of different student companies, and the company’s research and production team is experimenting to reach a high-quality product that can achieve an added market value.

    As Annabel Slater from the University of Glasgow states,  used coffee grounds as a fuel is not a strange thing at present times.

    Bio-bean also process coffee grounds into burnable pellets for industrial boilers, and ‘coffee logs’ for household burners. Each log contains the equivalent grounds of 25 cups of coffee and burns longer than kiln-dried wood.

    Coffee oil can also be blended with other fuel to produce biodiesel. This fuel was trialled in London buses in 2017, with an estimated 2.55 million cups of coffee powering a single bus for a year. 

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