Thursday, 19 April 2012

Coffee can fuel more than just your day!

Using coffee waste as an alternative energy source might be excellent news for people who love starting their day with a cup of coffee.

by Lidija Grozdanić


According to recent surveys, more than half of Serbia’s population start their day with a cup of coffee. It is estimated that in Serbia and Montenegro alone, a total of 33 500 tons of coffee is consumed annually. Replacing thousands of small coffee roasting shops, a couple of large coffee producers (Grand Coffee and Doncafe) have grown to dominate the region’s coffee market. Following global trends of sustainable entrepreneurship, these companies have decided to resort to environmentally friendly production, not only lowering their carbon footprint but also achieving great financial savings.

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade and Strauss Adriatic Company (Doncafe) have launched a joint project that will make the production of coffee in Serbia more sustainable. The original idea was to construct boilers that will burn coffee ground briquettes (residues of coffee processing) and provide additional heating for their plants. The use of this alternative form of energy will significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint.


Biomass briquettes.

Coffee briquettes are cylindrical molded pieces of compressed residue material- byproducts of the coffee roasting process. In order to utilize this waste material, scientists have used the laboratories at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Vinča Institute to examine its thermal power. The results showed that this source of alternative energy has exceptional heat and power potential and is a classic example of biomass.

The project is used for heating up to 6000m2 of the company’s manufacturing and administrative space. Using this energy source, the factory’s total annual gas emissions will be reduced by 14%. On an annual basis, the company will save between 65 and 90 thousand Euros.


Nemanja Mašić

According to Nemanja Mašić, maintenance manager at Strauss Adriatic and the original creator of the project, the boilers are designed to burn several types of biomass. The versatility of the project enables a wide application across industries. After the exceptional results in Serbia, the Strauss Adriatic Company will be implementing this project in other countries where it currently operates.

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