If you browse around MNN a bit, you'll see we have a slight obsession with coffee. We tell you how to green your habit. We tell you how coffee companies are trying to be more environmentally responsible. We tell you how to raise money for your school with it.
Last week, I even told you how to reuse your coffee grounds. Today, I read about two more uses for used coffee. Fuel for your fire and fuel for your car.
The first is the Java-Log. It's a 100% natural coffee fire log. These environmentally friendly logs create less emissions when burned than wood, come from a renewable source, keep 20 million pounds of coffee grounds out of waste streams each year, and claim to have a brighter flame than wood. Makes me wish our fireplace was in working order. I wonder if the Java-Log leaves your house smelling like coffee. Yum.
I read about another use for coffee grounds on Russell McLendon's Morning Briefing today.
Coffee grounds offer a cheap, plentiful and sustainable source of biodiesel for fueling cars and trucks, according to Nevada researchers. Spent grounds contain between 11 and 20 percent oil by weight, about the same as traditional biodiesel feedstocks such as palm and soybean oil.
Growers produce more than 16 billion pounds of coffee around the world each year. The used or "spent" grounds remaining from production of espresso, cappuccino, and plain old-fashioned cups of java, often wind up in the trash or find use as soil conditioner. The scientists estimated, however, that spent coffee grounds can potentially add 340 million gallons of biodiesel to the world's fuel supply.
To verify it, the scientists collected spent coffee grounds from a multinational coffeehouse chain and separated the oil. They then used an inexpensive process to convert 100 percent of the oil into biodiesel.
I suppose I can do my part and drink more coffee so they have more to work with. Excuse me while I go grab a mid-afternoon cup.