28.07.2022 - GBS, Transport & logistics

Latvia produces lighting tablets from coffee grounds

The petrol station chain Circle K Latvia has started selling lighting tablets made from coffee grounds in Latvia. The product has been developed by Koffeco in cooperation with the Institute of General Chemical Technology of Riga Technical University (RTU) in the field of waste recycling. The kindling tablets are made from coffee grounds used at petrol stations and binders.

Gatis Pavārs, director of the Market Development Department at Circle K Latvia, says that one of the company’s key activities is the development of innovative and sustainable solutions. Circle K Latvia started working with Koffeco last year and has already recycled two tonnes of used coffee grounds. “Sustainability is not only a company issue, but also a societal one. We are happy that together we can offer our customers high-quality, environmentally friendly products that are also made right here in Latvia,” says Pavārs.

Viktors Krišjansons, Koffeco’s CEO, says that the road to the final product was challenging. Several stages of product development and testing have gone into arriving at a final product that meets the company’s quality requirements.

“During the coffee processing, we have tried literally 50 different process methods and formulas to arrive at the desired result. It was not easy, but we achieved our goal, and we are very proud of this small step in our big vision for the coffee waste recycling industry. We use only eco raw materials to recycle coffee grounds and the packaging is also environmentally friendly,” says Krišjansons.

Double Benefit

Krišjansons has previously pointed out that recycling coffee waste has a double benefit: it not only significantly reduces the risk of environmental pollution, but also results in 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 a 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,” says Krišjansons.

The company’s near-term goal is to develop new technologies and ways to recycle used coffee grounds, wrote Labs of Latvia. “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 residues can be used for water purification and for making barbecue briquettes,” said Krišjansons.

New Products from Residues

Coffee grounds can be used for more than just these purposes. For example, scientists at RTU’s Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry are developing a complex residue recycling technology that will allow the production of various products from coffee grounds, including granules for wastewater treatment, wrote Labs of Latvia.

Andrejs Šiškins, a researcher at the Institute of General Chemical Technology at RTU’s Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry, stresses that coffee grounds are raw materials, not waste. In addition, using them in a beneficial way instead of landfilling them with other organic waste reduces environmental damage.

The laboratory at RTU’s Institute of General Chemical Technology is prototyping several products, including a prototype pellet for wastewater treatment. Scientists have tested them for removing pollution from petroleum products and for treating wastewater from pharmaceuticals. In further research, the pellets will be modified to test their ability to remove heavy metals from wastewater. Researchers at the Institute of General Chemical Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry, RTU, plan to collaborate with water research specialists to find the best way to use the pellets.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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