Tag Archives: renewable energy

Innovation and start-ups: Used Coffee Grounds Turned Into A Renewable Energy Source


Coffee is one of the globe’s largest agricultural commodities, with about 8bn kilograms (more than 16bn lbs) grown annually worldwide. That’s a lot of coffee – and a lot of leftover coffee grounds, most of which ends up in landfills or, in a best-case scenario, as a soil conditioner in someone’s garden.
Soluble coffee has been reported as a richsource of antioxidants, the consumption of which may prevent diseases caused by oxidative damage.Through a little bit of research the founder of Bio-Bean, Arthur Kay ,taught that coffee has a higher caloric value than wood.  figured out how to compress the grounds into bio-fuel pellets.
As it has been reported on the Guardian, companies such as Starbucks and Nestle, for example, are already putting used coffee grounds to work, while researchers believe that oil from coffee grounds could end up contributing tens of millions of liters of biodiesel to the global fuel supply.

UK-based clean tech company bio-bean has industrialized the process of turning used coffee grounds into sustainable biofuels and biochemicals. Bio-bean works within the existing energy and waste infrastructure to develop products and solutions that displace conventional fuels and chemicals.

The Telegraph reports that Bio-Bean has contracts to collect used coffee grounds from cafes, coffee factories, and airports, all of whom are saving a pretty penny in disposal fees (£154 per ton, around $225). Before being turned into biofuel, the coffee refuse is stripped of the oils in order to keep the bricks from smelling like coffee when burned. “Some people think this is a shame but others don’t want their home to smell like Starbucks,” Kay states.

Bio-Bean, now three year old company,  reprocesses about 10% of all the coffee grounds in the UK — about 50,000 tons — into pellets every year. That’s enough to heat about 15,000 homes according to its founder. The company produces biomass pellets and recently introduced Coffee Logs, carbon neutral biomass briquettes that can fuel homes and appliances, such as wood-fire stoves and BBQs. It has also undertaken extensive research and development into the commercial application of biodiesel from waste coffee grounds.

Bio-bean sells its carbon-neutral clean fuel to local businesses and aims to eventually help power the same coffee shops that supplied the grounds.

coffee beans biodiesel

In Joure, in the Netherlands, Veolia and Douwe Egberts Master Blenders have developed a solution for reusing coffee grounds to produce steam, and thus reduce the coffee company’s consumption of natural gas.

Veolia engineers set out to meet this challenge by developing a combustion system unlike any other in the world, in which the spent coffee grounds from the production process are burned to generate the steam needed to operate the plant. The system has enabled the plant to reduce its CO2 emissions by 70%.

Sources: Bio-bean,the Guardian, Telegraph UK.

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Featured Image Credit: @Wikipedia

coffee
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Grâce à une technologie proche de celle qui permet aux industriels du sucre de produire du biocarburant, Bio-Bean est capable de transformer les restes de café en un produit capable de propulser les voitures équipées de moteurs adaptés. Mais la production de ce nouveau carburant laisse à son tour des déchets « solides », pour lesquels notre entreprise britannique a également une solution : compactés, ils sont transformés en granulés pour le chauffage.

Pour l’instant, la société basée à Londres centre son activité sur la capitale anglaise et se permet même le luxe de produire local, et donc de limiter les émissions de CO2 de son activité.

Pour cela, il a fixé aux habitants et aux industriels locaux des objectifs ambitieux en terme de déchets (70% d’entre eux devront être réutilisés, recyclés ou compostés d’ici 2020) et d’émissions de CO2 (60% d’émissions en moins d’ici 2025).

How Hemp (Cannabis) Could Be Used As A Biofuel


Biodiesel can be produced from a great variety of feedstocks but the choice for the best one depends largely on economics, geography and climate . According to The Guardian , hemp can be used to create biodiesel and bioethanol. Contrary to Popular Belief, Hemp Oil Products Are Not Marijuana.

For Biocarburanti.org , while cannabis and hemp both come from the same species, hemp contains negligible amounts of THC (the chemical that makes the marihuana plant a potent drug). Therefore, handling it, eating it or inhaling the gasses or smoke from it will not intoxicate you in any way. Although, if you eat it, you may feel full.

hemp chart biodiesel
Credit: Sites.psu.edu

The product is environmentally friendlier to produce compared to corn, palm oil or sugar beet. Hemp biodiesel is biodegradable therefore it will not contribute to environmental destruction.A major advantage of hemp is that it can grow in a wide range of climatic conditions, while leaving the soils around it in a better condition than when it was first planted.

Researchers at University of Connecticut have found that industrial hemp has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel. Hemp biodiesel has shown a high efficiency of conversion (97 percent) and has passed laboratory’s tests, even showing properties that suggest it could be used at lower temperatures than any biodiesel currently on the market. Continue reading How Hemp (Cannabis) Could Be Used As A Biofuel

A New Record or Bad News for our Coal-Oil pro-conspiracy movement friends: Yesterday, Wind Produced 16,5% of Europe’s Total Electricity Needs


share of wind energy in electricity demand europe
Share of Wind Energy in Electricity Demand Europe:Caption: https://windeurope.org/about-wind/daily-wind/
  • 40% in Ireland (Irlande)
  • 35% in Spain (Espagne)
  • 45% in Portugal 
  • 33% in Germany (Allemagne)
  • 29% in Romania (Roumanie)
  • 57% in Denmark (Danemark)
  • 19% in Netherlands (Pays-Bas)
  • 18% in Lithuania (Lithuanie)

France :12%

 

In Oman bacteria-induced biofuel is getting patented


Muscat,Oman Sultanate: Mohab bin Ali Al-Hinai, assistant professor in the biology department of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), has obtained a patent for his research on bacteria that contributes to the production of biofuels.

Al-Hinai said the idea of producing biofuels by bacteria was a development of ‘acetobutylicum clostridium’ bacteria which is the fastest in its group in the production of organic materials usable as biofuels, according to Oman News Agency.

He added that the significance of the said bacteria is that it produces biofuels from plants that contain fiber and not from components of staple foods for human consumption such as maize, wheat, and sugarcane.

He affirmed that the most significant challenges are to find a way to make this invention economically feasible. He added that he is currently working on the development of research on biofuels from agricultural waste and the smallest organisms found in the Omani environment.

  • Why Bacteria-based biofuels?

By tweaking the smallest units of life, scientists are making bigger gains in producing alternative and renewable energy, with recent efforts aimed at molecule-level controls and promoting fractal growth patterns to create different fuels and improve efficiencies.

Bacteria, which range from 0.5 to 5 microns in size, perform functions that can be exploited, enhanced and modified to produce fuels. As they move, breathe, eat and reproduce, bacteria produce byproducts like ethanol and hydrogen while feeding on simple sugars, starches and sunlight. The cells themselves can also be harvested for biodiesel precursors.

The organisms may be used to produce fuels directly from biomass, including cellulosic biomass.  When all of the steps of digestion and fermentation are combined, it is called consolidated bioprocessing.  The organisms available for consolidated bioprocessing to produce cellulosic ethanol do not produce high concentrations of the ethanol, and therefore it isn’t cost effective to use them according to Biofuels Digest.

Even, back now in 2012, researchers genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert sugar into an oil that is almost identical to conventional diesel.

While petrol and diesel release carbon dioxide that has been stored deep within the Earth, biofuels are said to be carbon neutral because they release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as the plants they are made from absorbed.

However, the energy it takes to grow and process the crops needed for biofuels also should be taken into account, as this adds to their “carbon footprint”.

A report by Chatham House said biofuels were expensive and worse for the climate than fossil fuels.

  • Sources: Oman News Agency, Biofuels Digest, CHatman House, Pnas.org