Researchers at the United Arab Emirates University have successfully produced biofuels by recycling coffee waste.
It's a major step towards tackling the environmental damage caused by the improper disposal of coffee waste which often ends up in a landfill.
Dr. Eyas Mahmoud from the College of Engineering and one of the researchers said, "More than two billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world, and the basic material for making coffee is disposed of in a landfill, which is estimated to be six million tonnes annually, causing environmental damage."
He added, "Through this research, we were able to recycle this waste and convert it into fuel and value-added products through Bio-refineries to participate in solving the problem of many countries in the high costs of disposing of coffee waste."
Throwing the waste directly into landfills is harmful, especially if it has not been disposed of or recycled properly, as it is toxic and may cause serious environmental issues.
Moreover, direct disposal of waste without assessing the possibility of recycling may result in an enormous financial cost for taxpayers managing and maintaining landfills.
"Through this research, we discussed various opportunities for using coffee waste in the production of biofuels such as biodiesel, biogas, bioethanol, bio-oil, and pellet fuel, as well as added-value products, such as bioactive compounds such as polymers, nanoparticles and compost," Dr. Eyas explained.
It has taken two years to complete the study.
The research team included: Dr. Abdulaziz Atabani, Dr. Alaa Al Mohtaseb, Dr. Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Dr. Ganesh Dattatraya Saratale, Dr. Mohammad Aslam, Dr. Hassanin Abbas Khan, Dr. Zafar Saeed, and Dr. Eyas Mahmoud.