Coffee biodiesel properties studied

By Ron Kotrba | July 31, 2014

Researchers from the University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies conducted a study looking at fuel properties of biodiesel produced from different types of waste coffee grounds. Twenty different geographically sourced coffees, including regular and decaf and Robusta and Arabica types, were used to make various biodiesel samples that were then tested and fuel properties compared.

The end result was little variation in properties despite the spectrum of coffee feedstock used to make the fuels. “For all samples, with the exception of Vietnamese coffee, the FAME profile of the resulting biodiesel was consistent,” states the study's abstract. Pour points ranged between minus 1 and 16 degrees Celsius. The kinematic viscosity ranged between 4.0 and 5.5 mm2 s–1; the density ranged between 841 and 927 kg m–3.

Chris Chuck, Whorrod Research Fellow from the Department of Chemical Engineering, says, “The yields and properties of biodiesel can differ depending on the growth conditions of current biodiesel feedstocks, sometimes causing them to fall out of specification. The uniformity across the board for the coffee biodiesel fuel is good news for biofuel producers and users.”

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