It seems that used coffee grounds are about 15% oil (a little less than the usual feedstock used for biodiesel) and that they make a very suitable material for creating usable fuel...
- This is already a "recycled" product, so no food product would need to be diverted from feeding people, thus driving the price of the product higher for people who may already be in the midst of a cash or food crisis.
- Coffee (and coffee grounds) are high in anti-oxidants, which would delay rancification - thus making a more stable biodiesel than many other feedstocks.
- The "leftovers" - the grounds left over after the oil has been extracted - is dry and still high in nitrogen, making great compost for fertilizer (note: I feed my plants leftover coffee and the ones that get that treatment do great.)
- These leftovers can also be made into pellets for heating stoves (like the ones that use corn pellets), taking some of the heating load off of petroleum heating fuel.
In my opinion, these things should make the biodiesel industry sit up and take a look at the trash coming out of coffee shops. How much of this "stuff" is available and would it be worth it?
Just Starbucks generates about "210 million pounds of spent coffee grounds per year in the US, the researchers calculate that it could amount to 2.92 million gallons of biodiesel and 89,000 tons of fuel pellets..."
Just Starbucks! and then there's McDonald's...and all the other coffee shops and breakfast shops....
The story is here...
The cost per gallon is high...but so is the $8 million profit. If this venture were taken on as a low-profit venture, the cost would come down and the profit could still be quite high.