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Can Coffee Grounds Be Used as an Alternative Fuel?

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Coffee Beans

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Coffee powers a lot of us through our early mornings, and the afternoon slump, and through most of the day, really. But what if it could provide energy for more than just our drowsy mornings?

Well, as it turns out, coffee grounds can be used as an alternative fuel for your car.

Coffee grounds hold within them oil that can be used as an alternative fuel source, similar to corn and soybean oil. However, in the past, this oil has been extremely expensive to extract.


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Recently, researchers at Lancaster University have been exploring this process, working to make it easier and less expensive. Their new-and-improved method takes approximately 10 minutes, and can be completed without the use of harmful, stripping chemicals – adding to its eco-friendly appeal.

The utilization of used coffee grounds not only adds to pool of alternative fuels, but it also reduces waste. According to a study by Harvard University, Americans drink an average of 3.1 cups of coffee per person each day. It’s a $40 billion a year industry in the United States, and the wasted grounds could be put to good use with this¬†alternative fuel method.

In fact, Lancaster University’s researchers estimate an additional 720,000 metric tons of bio-diesel fuel could be produced with this coffee-bean extraction method.


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With electric cars moving to the forefront of the auto industry, many people are concerned about charging times and waiting around. It’s a step in the right direction to see both electrically-powered vehicles as well as research into alternative fuels that are eco-friendly all around.

News Sources: KCRA, Harvard University