Researchers at the University of Nevada have come up with an inexpensive way to make biofuel out of used coffee grounds. In fact, they used Starbucks coffee to do it. Since used coffee grounds contain about 15 percent oil, and since the world produces over 16 billion pounds of coffee a year, there’s plenty go go around.
The researchers extracted the oil from the coffee grounds, and then performed a standard transesterification process using methanol and potassium hydroxide to convert the oil to biodiesel. They found they were able to convert 100% of the oil to biodiesel.
Plans are to develop a small pilot plant within the next 6 to 8 months.