You must log in or register to comment.

chrisdh79 OP t1_iuvpwk6 wrote

From the article: Have you ever guessed that a leftover coffee could turn into biodiesel? Here's a remarkable development for bioscience.

Seemingly, Aston University scientists produced high-quality biodiesel microalgae fed on leftover coffee. According to Aston University's release, this development is also a breakthrough in the microalgal cultivation system.

Dr. Vesna Najdanovic, senior lecturer in chemical engineering, and Dr. Jiawei Wang were part of a team that produced algae and subsequently turned it into fuel.

The results of the study were published in the November 2022 issue of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

As stated by Aston University, approximately 98 million cups of coffee are drunk every day in the United Kingdom. This situation leads to a massive amount of spent coffee grounds which are processed as general waste, often ending up in landfill or incineration.

However, the scientists discovered that used coffee grounds serve as a structure for the microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris sp.) as well as a source of nutrients.

As a consequence, they were able to obtain enhanced biodiesel that complies with US and European standards, has low emissions, and has good engine performance.

Up until recently, algae has been grown on non-nutrient-containing surfaces like nylon and polyurethane foam. The scientists did discover, though, that microalgal cells may develop on the leftover coffee without the aid of other nutrients.


FuturologyBot t1_iuvt3ji wrote

The following submission statement was provided by /u/chrisdh79:

From the article: Have you ever guessed that a leftover coffee could turn into biodiesel? Here's a remarkable development for bioscience.

Seemingly, Aston University scientists produced high-quality biodiesel microalgae fed on leftover coffee. According to Aston University's release, this development is also a breakthrough in the microalgal cultivation system.

Dr. Vesna Najdanovic, senior lecturer in chemical engineering, and Dr. Jiawei Wang were part of a team that produced algae and subsequently turned it into fuel.

The results of the study were published in the November 2022 issue of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

As stated by Aston University, approximately 98 million cups of coffee are drunk every day in the United Kingdom. This situation leads to a massive amount of spent coffee grounds which are processed as general waste, often ending up in landfill or incineration.

However, the scientists discovered that used coffee grounds serve as a structure for the microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris sp.) as well as a source of nutrients.

As a consequence, they were able to obtain enhanced biodiesel that complies with US and European standards, has low emissions, and has good engine performance.

Up until recently, algae has been grown on non-nutrient-containing surfaces like nylon and polyurethane foam. The scientists did discover, though, that microalgal cells may develop on the leftover coffee without the aid of other nutrients.

Please reply to OP's comment here:


MassGaydiation t1_iuvw2hs wrote

This is awesome, I love algal reactors and their applications, can't wait to see this develop further


THP_music t1_iuw53xi wrote

these annoy me. yes, it's innovative but the focus should not be on replacing a combustive fuel source, it's their use that's the problem.


Ixneigh t1_iuw77cx wrote

But that is still adding carbon the the earths atmosphere.


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.


Alantsu t1_iuw896x wrote

So no nutrients and it doesn’t grow, add nutrients and it does? I’m confused how coffee is any more special than any other ground up fruit pits?


[deleted] t1_iuw8gbm wrote

And we are looking at the end of coffee due to climate change… so, cool I guess.


Summonest t1_iuw92fa wrote

Cool find, still not sure we should look to burning shit as a power 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


Janus_The_Great t1_iuweue1 wrote

Finally something different for which I can use all the coffee grounds for.


Words_Are_Hrad t1_iuwi040 wrote

Combustive fuels aren't a problem actually. The problem is increasing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. We are doing that mainly through combustion of sequestered fossil fuels but that doesn't mean all combustion would do the same thing. For example in this scenario these biofuels are using carbon that is in the Earths active carbon cycle. So they are growing plants that are absorbing CO2, using those plants to make a fuel, and burning that fuel that releases that CO2 back into the atmosphere. This process is carbon neutral, the amount of carbon being released by combustion is equal to the amount absorbed during plant growth. No new carbon added no increase in global temperature. Other forms of combustion like hydrogen don't even release CO2 as an output instead only releasing hot steam. Obviously hydrogen also doesn't add to global temps. The chemical process that drives the curing of cement that we use in all our concrete releases CO2. No combustion needed there and we still get greenhouse gases. So boiling the problem down to combustion bad is not only untrue it is very unhelpful in targeting other massive sources of GHG emissions.


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


IEatLiquor t1_iuwiuik wrote

For real. But, how do we make it something easy to do? How can we get to the point where I’m already anticipating the process of sending my coffee to an algal refinery when I’m buying it? Better yet - how do we get to we aren’t even thinking about that and it is as unthought of in our daily lives as filling a reusable BPAA free water bottle at a fountain?


[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.


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.


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!


CommonConfusables t1_iuwq9ey wrote

Isn’t there currently a coffee shortage and growing issues due to environmental and single product growing practices?

It is a shade grown plant that we force to grow in the sun for production.


TheArmoredKitten t1_iuwsay8 wrote

We could just make our trash pickup more like Japan and presort our garbage for pickup on different days, or at least make it accessible for coffee businesses to dispose of their grounds through a service. Communities could organize to have collection points for niche waste. The number of options is tremendous.


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


LiteVolition t1_iuwuez8 wrote

EDIT: The downvotes to these comments show just how little the average Redditor knows about energy generation and the limitations of storage tech, battery investments, the limits of project capability and the impending limited access to global resources given the Russian situation.

There’s literally no other way to create power. You can grow plants which sequester CO2 and then burn it and release the same CO2 or you can crack open the earth to release additional CO2 with no sink in the loop to capture it back.

And don’t mention wind and solar. Those devices have tons of issues. Nuclear is good but takes decades to come online. We need to do this as well.


Hushwater t1_iuwvhjk wrote

The world goes through alot of coffee, this is a cool idea and hope it takes off.


BlissfulWizard69 t1_iuwwhdh wrote

When you giggle to yourself that Go Juice could fuel vehicles and then science winks and asks you to hold their coffee.


BreadfruitOk5341 t1_iuwwvdd wrote

I encourage you buy ev’s. Gas prices will come way down.


S0M3D1CK t1_iuwxptl wrote

It’s the first law of thermodynamics. Biodiesel and hydrogen are produced with what is on the surface of the planet. Fossil fuels are pulled from beneath the surface, subsequently used, and the energy/matter stays behind on the surface until it settles back down.


tjeulink t1_iuwy2t8 wrote

coffee isn't climate friendly at all, it emits a shitton of CO2e emissions per KG it took to produce. i get that reusing waste-streams is good, but using coffee in general isn't.


GynxCrazy t1_iuwy4d3 wrote

Perhaps some kind of return system almost like how some places do cans and bottles, collect enough and you get paid! Though that could get very moldy very fast


Davey-Gravy t1_iux0tq2 wrote

Solar and wind resource is not where the demand is. The issue is in transmission from more remote areas to urban centers.

This is not to say that we shouldn't be rapidly expanding wind/solar capacity, it's just not a catch-all solution for power generation.


turquoise_amethyst t1_iux2bjh wrote

Hmm, wonder if we could feed the algae something else, which is more sustainable? Maybe something that grows easily in the Americas?

I’m thinking something like hemp or Yaupon Holly (up to six times the caffeine content of coffee!) but I don’t know how quickly they grow


jamanimals t1_iux78ar wrote

Not to mention, if it's valuable enough, there will probably be coffee production specifically to produce biodiesel that never gets made into consumer coffee. Similar to the vast amount of corn grown strictly for ethanol production.


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).


jamanimals t1_iux8smw wrote

This is a fair point and one that I never really considered in thinking of this issue before. However, as with any process, there are certain to be losses. How sustainable is this process for converting coffee into fuel? Is the limiting factor simply time?

I know you probably don't have the answer, but I'd be surprised if this was actually able to cover fuel needs.

One item that I want to contest with your point, which I know is not actually part of the point you made, is that even if we find a truly sustainable fuel source, we should still consider cutting down our use of combustive technologies to power our cities.

This is more of a localized issue, but pollution and waste is still an issue with biodiesel, and using combustion vehicles inside of cities can lead to poor outcomes for this cities.

I know this is a bit off-topic to the point you were making, but I still feel it needs to be said that even though this specific tech is carbon neutral, it enables other technologies that are harmful to society overall.


mule_roany_mare t1_iuxa2sp wrote

This field of tech should have a good niche in air travel.

Batteries will likely never be viable, aside from the lower energy density you have to carry them after they are exhausted. That a jumbo jet get significantly lighter as it travels is a boon.

30,000 feet is a particularly bad place for exhaust, but the issue with burning gas isn't so much the pollution, but that you are digging up carbon that has been sequestered for millions of years faster than stuff like coffee beans can gobble it up again.

It pays to be conservative when you are... flying in the face of gravity. Even if something like a fuel cell proves viable it won't have the century of refinements & safety standards.

Resources spent on electric flight would be better invested here or on cargo ships.


Binda33 t1_iuxb50x wrote

I read this as "microalgae on leftover coffee grounds was fed to researchers". I was wondering how they got the biodiesel out of that.


mule_roany_mare t1_iuxbk1f wrote

It's not just nutrients.

The grounds provide a lattice for the yeast to grow on & also nutrients. The important part is the process uses industrial waste instead of diverting more useful or harmful products.


mule_roany_mare t1_iuxcb7t wrote

> I know you probably don't have the answer, but I'd be surprised if this was actually able to cover fuel needs.

It definitely won't, but it doesn't need to. There is no magic bullet coming, it's going to require a lot of relatively minor contributions.

You'll likely never be able to move away from something like kerosene for air travel, nothing else will have the energy density, safety record & maturity or the most important quality: the plane getting lighter as it flies.

But a process like this could prevent air travel from contributing greenhouse gasses by integrating it into the planets normal carbon cycle.


MyMessageIsNull t1_iuxfiff wrote

I've been waiting for biodiesel from algae for 20 years.


I_am_Erk t1_iuxggha wrote

I suspect coffee was chosen because there are a lot of wasted coffee grounds. There likely isn't anything specifically about coffee that is needed here, you could probably use any number of similar substrates that are cheaper to grow


theottomaddox t1_iuxghpq wrote

I never thought I'd see the day when Starbucks could transition into a vertically integrated truck stop.


jamanimals t1_iuxgy27 wrote

Oh, I agree, but even corn for ethanol was only supposed to be using waste products and not corn grown for ethanol, but once you give the industry an inch to grab onto, they'll take all they can get.


jamanimals t1_iuxhkdc wrote

Absolutely. Fossil fuels, or in this case biofuels, will always have a place in modern society. But we should still work to reduce our reliance on them as much as we possibly can.

Less driving, less flying, more rail and public transit, or just walking and biking will bring much greater climate protection over time, but that doesn't mean that cars, trucks and planes won't have a place, even if we go as green as possible in the future.


If_Youre_Ge-nasty t1_iuxiy0z wrote

The palm oil industry is a fucking CANCER. Anything we can do to decrease the demand for it, I will fully back.


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!!😅😉


realoctopod t1_iuxrb3p wrote

I read that as the researchers eating micro algae and left over coffee to make biodiesel.

I'm glad I re-read it.


Cepinari t1_iuxto4t wrote

We just need to make every person in the world a raging coffee addict, and our reliance on fossil fuels is history!


Summonest t1_iuxuoqu wrote

Solar and wind can cover the majority of the grid during high demand times, and nuclear can cover it for the rest of the time. I don't think we need to be putting investments into better ways to throw carbon into the air.


YB9017 t1_iuxutad wrote

Misinterpreted the title initially to researchers were being fed micro algae on top of leftover coffee grounds and the researchers miraculously were producing biofuel from their bodies.


daikarasu t1_iuxv0x0 wrote

I firmly believe that we're living out the early days of the biotechnology revolution. We're hitting milestones of understanding like crazy right now, it's only a matter of time before proof of concept scale development, industry scale development can't be that much farther behind


quettil t1_iuxy8ic wrote

How much will they actually be able to get out of this? Not like a few coffee grounds are full of energy. Sounds like a gimmick. Are they going to go round everyone's house collecting a spoon's worth of grounds?


[deleted] t1_iuy4eqi wrote

Is it still difficult to keep at the right viscosity? I thought biodiesel from algae was problematic because it can’t maintain shape or something when the temps get extreme.


Your-Evil-Twin- t1_iuy4xq6 wrote

There is no way that we can replace all cars in the world with EVs in a reasonable timeframe, there isn’t enough lithium in the ground.

The internal combustion engine was never the problem, it’s the fuel it burns.


axionic t1_iuy90iq wrote

Making biofuel out of palm oil causes more environmental destruction than petroleum. They literally burn down disappearing rain forests to grow one crop of trees, and then the land is dead and useless (unless you want the torrent of CO2 and methane it releases afterward) so they torch up more each year. Indonesian rainforests are almost completely wiped out and the palm oil industry is not slowing down one bit.


woodcookiee t1_iuy9mdz wrote

So the researchers were fed leftover coffee grounds covered in microalgae… and then do they pee out the biodiesel? Is that how it works?


mule_roany_mare t1_iuyb4lv wrote

Reducing people's standard of living is a hard sell & likely a considerable reason people refuse to believe in climate change.

There is plenty of low hanging fruit to capture before we start asking for the really painful sacrifices which amount to a drop in the bucket.

Electric cars, nuclear power & renewable power in tandem as fast as possible will increase people's standard of living while doing more good.

A revenue neutral carbon tax will do more good for less money and more importantly less effort/discomfort.

To put it all another way: Asking people with shitty lives to pay more in exchange for having shittier lives isn't gonna work.

Especially when the acts themselves are more symbolic than pragmatic.


-ipa t1_iuye3dl wrote

Doesn't it cost a ton of money and CO² to produce all that coffee and transport it? Or is it significantly less than production and transport of palm oil?


AldermanMcCheese t1_iuygfrk wrote

How much microalgae were the researchers fed to achieve these results?


ElScrotoDeCthulo t1_iuygxrf wrote

Why do we need biodiesel??

Its just another bullshit thing to sell us.

Hydrogen fuel!?

Electric motor powered public/and or/ individual transport powered by a restructured renewable energy sourced electrical grid!?


jamanimals t1_iuyj1e6 wrote

I disagree that rail and bicycles reduce people's standards of living, but I do agree that it's a hard sell. It's a hard sell because there are a lot of vested interests in the status quo car dependent fossil-fuel consumption driven economy.

That being said, nuclear power and renewables are a good thing, and I hope to see more investment in that realm.


lezmaka t1_iuykogc wrote

What's the difference between regular algae and microalgae? Aren't regular algae microscopic? Or is microalgae so small that regular algae need a microscopic microscope to see them?


TheBlackKnight22 t1_iuyl7no wrote

Can someone explain to me: would biodiesel not just release the sane amount of carbon into the air?


monos_muertos t1_iuymql1 wrote

I've been using coffee ground on my compost and it's really been working out. I take several used cartridges, dump them into a container, let the mycelium spread, then put it on top of the compost that will be used in the current year.


Acylion t1_iuys8rj wrote

Apologies for this comment, in advance, because it may come across a bit nitpicky. I agree wholeheartedly with your points in this post and others, in general, but the thing about bike use not reducing standard of living bothers me a lot.

I live in a tropical area on the equator, in a country where it's hot and humid year round. There are a lot of efforts here to encourage cycling for mobility. The issue is that it's impossible to cycle anywhere in the day without building up a considerable sweat. Which causes problems when you want both working folks and students to cycle, and yet it still isn't socially acceptable to, well, let's say, be wet and pungent.

And while there are efforts to create free public showering points, those would only be in newer or recently renovated buildings, so in practice that's rare. If you're lucky, maybe there's a gym or something in the area, but that still requires cost and access.

So the people who are cycling places are definitely taking a significant hit in comfort, convenience, time expenditure, and so on. Are these acceptable tradeoffs for sustainability? Yeah, probably, but it is a tradeoff.

And I'm not even getting into the question of where you can even safely park your bicycle at your destination. Granted, that's a more common worldwide universal infrastructure issue which can be solved. Technically the shower thing can be solved too. But I'm just trying to point out that there's a host of inconveniences here, and I would say going car-light does represent a reduction in standard of living and quality of life. It's just that, from my perspective, this may be a necessary sacrifice.

A lot of sustainability messaging is soft-sell, we're trying to convince people that we can achieve climate aims with little or minimal sacrifice and disruption to their existing lifestyles. That's meant to make it more palatable, but there's limits to that narrative.


catmeowstoomany t1_iuysgn4 wrote

Why palm oil for biofuels? I may be an idiot, but that sounds like a recipe straight from the devils cookbook?!? Wtf is real life, why are we… or am I so dumb?


RandomUsername12123 t1_iuyuzj4 wrote

The problem is that coffee grounds is not a kind of industrial waste and at best the only good source of then are bars et similar.

And from these bars it has to be collected in a way(transport and human hours) , i can't think on how this could be feasible as a way to do anything useful.

Coffee grounds can be used as fertilizer and that is already a good use of them.

Going back to the first point nespresso has a initiative where you can return the aluminum cans to the store to be recycled and the quantity of coffee and aluminum is laughably small


jamanimals t1_iuyvmcd wrote

I hear this narrative about being sweaty often, but I really don't understand it. I work in a place that gets hot as hell during the summer, and while I'm in air conditioning, many of the people who work in the shop floor are not. So they're getting sweaty anyways.

Why does it matter if they build up a sweat before work, or during?

I suppose if you work in an office all day and never leave, then sure, take your car and just sit in climate control as much as you want, but do you then never go outside? Take a walk? It just doesn't make sense as a point against biking infrastructure.

Also, I'm not really sure why the bike parking is brought up. I'm assuming you're not from the US, but we dedicate insane amounts of space to car parking, so bike parking should be a non-issue. If your city has any sort of car parking, then bike parking is easily solved as well.


Adderallman t1_iuyxunf wrote

Leftover coffee grounds… that’s like used coffee grounds that you save for later to make more coffee with again, right?


nombre1 t1_iuyydr1 wrote

This is only useful if there's a scalable way to collect used coffee grounds, separate from other home or even restaurant waste.

Even waste fry oil recycling isn't quite at that level yet, and that form of "biodiesel" doesn't need a special kind of algae to be usable.


responsible_blue t1_iuyyf14 wrote

What about all those canned drinks Starfucks makes now? That coffee has to come from somewhere, and that creates industrial sized tonnage to get rid of, potentially at multiple different bottlers in a fully Global footprint.


Acylion t1_iuyym1f wrote

First, I want to clarify that I'm personally in favour of not trying to use cars (or for that matter, air conditioning), I'm just trying to explain why it's an unpalatable proposition for people, speaking from my local and regional context.

First, yes, where I live there absolutely is an expectation that many people are commuting in from wherever, to a workplace, entering a climate controlled environment, and then often not leaving until they go home. Is that a healthy or sensible expectation? Hell no. Are we talking first world or rich city folk problems here? Yeah. But I've been snarked at by people in a professional setting for having the sheer audacity to wear short sleeves and breathable shoes rather than long sleeves, a blazer, and faux-leather footwear, so you see what's going on here. Realistically, we should be assuming everyone can dress down for temperature, we should accept some sweating as a daily routine problem. But it's frowned upon in practice. So the problem arises when you're trying to walk for part of your commute, or cycle, and still need to maintain these (admittedly artificial) standards of appearance on the other end. I'm not trying to defend this as right, I'm saying this is fucking stupid, but the point is convincing people you can go car-light, yeah? And at this point your average person is still "shit, gotta take an (uber-equivalent) to the meeting, can't let the clients see us dripping wet", or "can't turn up for work stinking, the customers will complain".

Ideally it should be acceptable to just, you know, accept the realities, but folks don't. Which means that people who do persist in walking part of their commute or biking are taking some kind of sacrifice in practice - not just in discomfort but in what's needed to maintain socially acceptable standards.

Second, yeah, I'm in Asia, not the US - which might help in contextualising some of the above, I realise. Anyway.

Realistically there should be more bike parking in my city (or other nearby ones). There's space. In practice? Bike racks are only common in residential neighbourhoods, and even then it isn't enough if we assume everyone should have a bike, it's only serving current less-than-full utilisation. For the most part you're not going to find a lot of bike parking in commercial areas, for example. Now, that's a solvable problem, absolutely, but it isn't a solved problem yet. Which means that for the short to medium term, it presents an obstacle for someone trying to bike to work. Some of my coworkers have ended up lugging their bikes up the stairs or elevator and into our premises, which, y'know, fine, we're chill and nobody is gonna bat an eye when someone's doing that. But if your boss doesn't approve? We don't have bike racks nearby, and it's technically illegal to chain a bike to something that isn't a rack or designated space. Enforcement is spotty, but you're running a risk if someone decides to be an asshole.


mule_roany_mare t1_iuz17a0 wrote

>but I really don't understand it.

That's fine, but you have to take people's word for it who do.

Clothes feel gross when you've sweat through them. Starting your day & ending every trip drenched in sweat is a drop in a persons quality of life.

I live in a city where public transportation is pretty good & often better than a car. Lots of people don't & introducing a giant PITA will make their days tougher.


jamanimals t1_iuz49or wrote

My point is that there are lots of jobs where you're going to get sweaty during the day. Hell, many tropical climates have lots of people on mopeds. Surely you're getting sweaty on a moped in a similar fashion to a bike?


jamanimals t1_iuz58fd wrote

I get that there's an air of appearance that needs to be maintained, and I understand where that's coming from, but that's only for certain industries, right?

If you need to present a certain way to succeed then go for it, but don't hold back those who don't need to do that.

And I'm not suggesting you are holding anyone back, but your arguments here seem to be complaining that we can't change the status quo, and only looking at it through the lens of your personal experience.

I'm not saying that you need to convert your coworkers, what I'm saying is that you should support bike infrastructure for those who need it. Surely not everyone who lives in your city needs to be completely sweat free for work, right?

Also, work commutes are only a part of people's daily movements. Why can't more people bike to get groceries? Or bike to go shopping? It's all a part of reducing our footprint.


Acylion t1_iuz6v7t wrote

I'm not arguing in favour trying to preserve status quo versus change, and apologies if that's the intent. My comment is intended to explain WHY there are barriers to change, and why I have issues with your point on biking not reducing "standard of living".

I'm saying that, rightly or wrongly... hell, let's agree on "wrongly"... biking would indeed be perceived as reducing standard of living in many contexts. By saying that it doesn't, it sort of... sidelines the challenges. Instead of addressing them.

Even if objectively it shouldn't be seen as a lifestyle hit, it is seen that way by a significant number of people. And that's a barrier for change, and I don't think ignoring or trying to explain away that challenge is helpful.

Edit: I mean, basically what you get is policymakers telling the public "use fewer cars", and a sizeable portion of the public staring back and going "fuck you". Unless policy and industry direction addresses the concerns of people, OR if there's broader social changes to our expectations, we're not going to see the takeup that you or I might prefer.


zeppy159 t1_iuzbqro wrote

The transport and human hours costs are minimal because it only requires adjustments to the already present stock delivery logistics. I know that Mcdonalds already collects used grounds, grease and cardboard for re-use/recycling and it all just gets picked up during routine stock deliveries.

Smaller cafes and such may struggle to implement similar procedures, but large chains such as starbucks should have no problems.


KarmaOnToast t1_iuzkoee wrote

Using algae for biodiesel is a horrible idea. Huge waste of resources when we should be electrifying. Oil and protein rich algae should be used as food, or at the very least animal feed.


moosepuggle t1_iuzvfsf wrote

Me too! And there’s even a picture of a researcher eating the micro algae out of a bowl. Just look at all the green piping that researcher made after eating their micro algae! :)


Lazy_Competition_826 t1_iv07w46 wrote

Given that most countries are banning combustion engines probably not going to be explored successfully


RandomUsername12123 t1_iv08pr8 wrote

If you have to implement it in an already established operation seems easy, i was thinking about an indipendent organization that drives a van to collect them or ship it.

I don't have that much imaginations it seems hahahah


jamanimals t1_iv0fbgb wrote

Riding a moped in a hot, humid environment is surely going to make you sweaty.

As the other poster noted, most of their coworkers would rather take an uber to meetings than walk because they have clients to meet and want to stay fresh. That is definitely a niche group of individuals with specific needs, and if they feel they want to drive everywhere, so be it.

But they shouldn't dictate to the rest of society that biking and walking places can't be done.


jamanimals t1_iv0j56p wrote

I think we're talking past each other here, because I do agree that there's a public perception that bikes are inferior, but from my perspective, it's generally the policymakers who refuse to build bike infrastructure, even when there's strong support for it.

I think also your perspective coming from a different country is a bit different from mine. In the US and Canada, and to an extent, Mexico, we've destroyed our cities in favor of the car. You literally cannot walk in places in the US because if how dangerous our road design is.

When I say reducing car usage and increasing bike usage won't decrease quality of life, I'm saying that car-dependency has decreased our quality of life and reducing that car dependency will help bring quality of life up.

But I will concede that it's a very North American point of view and might not apply globally, because most of the globe didn't recklessly destroy their cities to build highways.


brendanflaherty1983 t1_iv0qsx8 wrote

Palm oil production is incredibly bad for the environment, but all of the current alternatives are worse. New technologies such as this that could potentially be a net positive for the environment are really exciting.


OrcRampant t1_iv0uclv wrote

Where can I donate my coffee grounds? I drink enough coffee to make sure this project is a success.


mule_roany_mare t1_iv0zhwi wrote

A hot humid environment can make a person sweaty.

Riding a bike can make a person sweaty in a cool dry environment. Exertion can even make people sweat in winter.

Not being inside a climate controlled car for trips will de facto reduce people’s quality of life.


jamanimals t1_iv18q0x wrote

See, that's where I think this is an exaggeration. Plenty of people spend time outside on cold days, or on incredibly hot days. Some do it for work, some do it for fun, some do it just because, and some do it because they have no choice.

Forcing everyone in society to be in a car to get anywhere, on the off chance that they might not want to be hot or cold, is far more harmful for those who either don't care, or can't afford or use a car for whatever reason.

That is why I say reducing car use isn't necessarily going to reduce people's quality of life, because a lot of people's quality of life is already miserable because there are no alternatives to car use.

Mind you, this is a very North American (plus some Australia/NZ/UK) perspective, so it doesn't fully apply globally, but many countries around the world are attempting to model the US' car dependent infrastructure, which will have disastrous effects, not only climate-wise, but also quality-of-life wise.


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.


mule_roany_mare t1_iv2v5sk wrote

Who is forcing everyone to do anything?

you said that relying on public transport & bikes won’t reduce any one’s quality of life.

Even if you don’t care about physical exertion & sweat a car runs on your schedule & can leave anytime you want.


jamanimals t1_iv2xu60 wrote

>Who is forcing everyone to do anything?

If you look at North American planning, the only thing that ever gets funded is single family sprawl and car infrastructure. Public transit gets barely any budget and bike infrastructure isn't even considered. So car dependency is forcing me to drive everywhere, and it's mandated by the government.

> a car runs on your schedule & can leave anytime you want.

So do bikes, and good public transit can be just as convenient, if not moreso, than cars, because bikes and trains are much more efficient at moving people and don't get stuck in traffic.


jubilant-barter t1_ivcvnln wrote

When you're sweaty, people notice. They notice your smell. If they're kind, they'll only mention it directly to you and in confidence.

If they're not nice... well, humans are social animals. Your relationships, status, and even your career are affected by your community's perception of your hygiene.


jamanimals t1_ivcwahl wrote

Sure, but my point is that I think it's an exaggerated issue. The number of people who need to be completely sweat free through the day is very low, and don't really need to be considered in transit/city planning.

The goal should be getting the greatest number of people out of their cars as possible, whether that's through better pedestrian infrastructure, better cycling infrastructure, or better public transit, we have to reduce the amount of pollution we create via transportation.