27.12.2021

Circle K to process coffeegrounds into coffee briquettes

Circle K Latvia, the service station chain, in cooperation with the Latvian startup Koffeco, is recycling coffee waste to produce fuel in the form of coffee briquettes. They will be available to consumers from March next year.

The grounds are milled, transformed by high temperatures, broken down, and compacted, resulting in the final product, coffee briquettes. To date, Circle K has already recycled two tonnes of coffee grounds, from which the first prototype products have been developed.

“Circle K service stations sell more than seven million coffee cups a year, which represents 90 tonnes of coffee waste. In cooperation with Koffeco, we can implement the final stage in the sustainable coffee life cycle and recycle coffee grounds,” says Director of the Market Development Department at Circle K Latvia Gatis Pavārs.

The solution has been developed in collaboration with the Institute of General Chemical Technology at Riga Technical University (RTU).

Double Benefit

Coffee grounds, which usually end up in waste bins with other household waste, emit methane.

“Methane is 86 times more environmentally damaging than carbon dioxide, or CO2. For every tonne of coffee waste that decomposes in landfills, 340 cubic metres of methane are released into the environment,” says Head of Technology at Koffeco and a doctor at RTU’s Institute of General Chemical Technology Andrejs Šiškins.

Koffeco’s head Viktors Krišjansons stresses that recycling coffee waste has a double benefit: it not only significantly reduces the risk of environmental pollution but also produces a more efficient product. “Burning wood releases all the CO2 that has been stored in the wood for 100 to 150 years, while the core of coffee fruit is formed in one year. Coffee briquettes are not only more environmentally friendly but also a more efficient fuel, as coffee grounds release up to 25% more heat during combustion and burn 20% longer than most types of wood,” he explains.

Other Products Will Also Be Produced

The startup’s aim in the near future is to develop new technologies and ways of recycling used coffee grounds.

“Over the next two years, we will continue our work on coffee briquettes and pellets, as well as producing disposable cutlery and hot drink cups. In the future, we also plan to produce a very valuable extract: coffee essential oil, which is particularly useful for the cosmetics industry, as well as activated carbon. The charcoal residue can be used for water purification and for making barbecue briquettes,” says Krišjansons.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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