Researchers at RMIT in Australia have found a way to do this Make use of coffee machine waste and use it industrially. Through a heat process, they transformed the remains of ground coffee into a perfect building material that could replace sand in the production of concrete.
It’s no secret that you can use the waste from cleaning your coffee maker as an excellent fertilizer in your garden, but most connoisseurs of this drink know that at some point the point is reached when there are no more plants to fertilize, it’s time Throw away most of the used coffee.
This situation results in 10,000 million kilograms of coffee waste (also called bagasse) being generated worldwide every year. That’s why Dr. Rajeev Roychland and his colleagues RMIT University Laboratory (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) in Australia looked for alternatives to using this waste and published them in a study.
“The disposal of organic waste represents an ecological challenge because large amounts of pollutants are released Greenhouse gasesincluding methane and carbon dioxide, which contribute to climate change.”explained Dr. Roychand from the Department of Engineering at RMIT.
Two birds with one stone: the unexpected mix of recycling and building
The solution only came when a second problem was found in the construction industry. The use of sand in turn also poses environmental damage because More than 50,000 million tons of sand are mined every year of rivers and sandbars just to meet construction needs, leading to erosion and irreparable changes to the environment.
Dr. Mohammad Saberian, Roychland’s research colleague, investigated alternative materials to support the construction industry and found a solution by combining their teams Solution to both problems.
“Our research team has gained extensive experience in the development of biochar (Charcoal for industrial purposes) from various organic wastes: We have developed biochar from wood, food waste, agricultural residues and also from septic waste, all for specific applications.”Saberian explained.
“The inspiration for our work was finding an innovative way to use large quantities of it Coffee waste from construction projects rather than sending them to landfills to give coffee a “double chance,” he said Roychand.
Using a method called pyrolysis, in which the material is placed in an oxygen-free heat chamber to decompose at more than 350°C, they managed to convert coffee bagasse into an excellent material as a sand replacement. Aside from that, Its use improves the hardness and durability of cement by 30%according to the studies.
“With a circular economy approach, we could prevent organic waste from ending up in landfills and better conserve our natural resources such as sand,” said Jie Li, one of the study’s authors.
The researchers report that there are already several construction companies interested in coffee biochar and are therefore working to address this new research that expands and improves the results obtainedto achieve greater accessibility and savings for all parties involved in its use, from companies in charge of organic waste disposal to industrial construction companies.