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OdinTheHugger t1_iuw80bo wrote

Coffee grounds?

To produce biofuel?

That's the leftover remains of the seeds of a tree based fruit that takes years before it's productive.

This sounds like a really stupid idea to me.

we were talking about using high cellulose plant matter for biofuels, like ethanol or biodiesel. Where every fiber of the plant becomes biofuel, and it's still only economical to do it to corn in the US because of subsidies.

This really feels like a step backwards, unless this is purely about starting the algae and not actually suggesting we use coffee grounds as the primary nutrient source.


Tuny t1_iuwbg5j wrote

Bro, coffee is the one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Imagine how much of these coffee grounds each cafe produces per day, let alone week, month, year


sixstringronin t1_iuwft0x wrote

Yeah, literally this. I can't even imagine how much coffee a single Starbucks location goes through in a day.


Jrook t1_iuwq8ek wrote

I also took this to mean it was a proof of concept. If they can extract something from coffee beans they can do any highly processed food waste


Artanthos t1_iuwoadw wrote

Collection and consolidation to a processing facility in sufficient quantities to be meaningful could be problematic.


schrod t1_iuwporm wrote

The best thing to do would be to simplify the process so everyone could produce their own biofuel cutting out both collection costs and distribution costs!


Artanthos t1_iuxi350 wrote

At that point, why not solar panels and EVs?


schrod t1_iuyfynw wrote

Why not all these. Wouldn't you like to save your coffee grounds and turn them into something useful, even if it is backup?


Artanthos t1_iuyk3jx wrote

You are unlikely to have both a diesel vehicle and an EV, and an EV is the greener of the two.


dontyouflap t1_iuwiev9 wrote

A Google search says 23 billion pounds of coffee are produced per year globally. And the US consumes 860 billion pounds of gasoline a year. So if the coffee grounds are able to produce 1:1 gasoline by weight, not accounting for the energy needed to make it, the entire world's coffee grounds could make enough fuel for 2.6% of America's current needs


ShaunWhiteIsMyTwin t1_iuwmqva wrote

The headline says it could replace palm oil, not gasoline.


dontyouflap t1_iuwr3m4 wrote

To make biofuel. Which is used in place of gasoline


Ansollis t1_iuwthxc wrote

I don't think bio-fuel is a direct replacement for gasoline. Most blends of bio-fuel for cars still has a good chunk of gasoline in it and even then you need a specific kind of car to be able to handle that fuel


sighbourbon t1_iuwpwze wrote

the grounds are awesome compost, I think it should be returned to the earth


Goldenslicer t1_iuwlu64 wrote

The corn biofuel isn't just stupid because it's economically unsound without subsidies, but photosynthesis isn't really that efficient of a process at capturing solar energy, which in essence, that's what corn biofuel is. It's solar energy turned into fuel.

We do a lot better with solar panels.

Take all the land we are currently growing corn for the purpose of biofuels, and cover it in solar panels. We'd generate a lot more energy from the same amount of land.

Corn biofuel is so stupid.


Gusdai t1_iux7fyh wrote

Exactly: these algae produce energy from the sun. This process is just a very complex solar panel, of which coffee grounds are one of the costs, not the source of energy.

The process would make sense if you could produce something with high added value, like nutritious food. If you produce something that you're literally burning away by the gallon in cars, it makes no sense. Just build solar panels instead, and turn the coffee grounds into compost, or even burn them for energy directly (which can already displace a lot of fossil fuel use).


FrueTreedom t1_iuxl3uz wrote

By the by....chlorella IS actually one of the most nutrient dense and nutrient unusual foodstuffs there is....just so you know ..look it up... Whales eat it!!😅😉


OdinTheHugger t1_iv1d761 wrote

I think the only benefit over solar panels is energy density. It's hard to beat liquid fuels with batteries in terms of energy density.

Not impossible, just difficult.


Goldenslicer t1_iv1xt5x wrote

Yeah, the issue with solar panels is that energy is in the form electricity, not corn. It isn't suitable to be turned into fuel for combustion cars.

But it doesn't matter. Right now, the gas at the pump is a mix of 90% fossil fuel and 10% biofuel.
We can lose the 10% biofuel, just go 100% fossil fuel, and use the energy from the solar farms to displace other energy generation sourced from fossil fuels.

And we'd have a cleaner overall energy mix, even with more polluting car fuel.


[deleted] t1_iuwkvjg wrote

Biofuels are the boondoggle everyone except Big Ag thought they would be. The production and transportation of biomass to the processing facility means this will never be feasible.