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European Union

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Energy for circular economy


Turning coffee waste into valuable raw materials


Coffee waste transformed into sustainable chemicals

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The need

In Europe, 9,000 tons of spent coffee grounds are wasted daily, while coffee is the fifth most CO2 intensive food product. This huge volume is not yet processed in any smart or sustainable manner. For EcoBean it amounts to €45 million worth of valuable feedstock.

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The solution

EcoBean turns spent coffee grounds into five fractions of sustainable chemicals: coffee oil, antioxidants, lactic acid (PLA), lignin, and protein additives. EcoBean is building a pioneering plant to process 100 percent of collected spent coffee grounds into raw materials. The company focuses on sustainable production and high-margin valorisation of waste.

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The value proposition

  • Reduction of the overall environmental footprint of the coffee industry.
  • Top quality sustainable chemicals with 50 percent lower carbon footprint on average in comparison to market alternatives: coffee oil, antioxidants, lactic acid (PLA), protein additives, coffee lignin.
  • Green and economically-valuable way to collect vast amounts of dispersed biomass.

ECOBEAN and DELTA Coffee: Disposing of coffee waste in a sustainable and cost-effective way

Ecobean focuses on sustainable production and high-margin valorisation of coffee waste, and repurposes spent coffee grounds into a range of bio-products. Delta Cafes, a leading coffee brand in Portugal, are working with Ecobean, to repurpose spent coffee grounds into new materials, including biodiesel to fuel vehicles. They are collecting spent coffee grounds from PRIO stations and they intend to validate the technical feasibility of using PRIO’s biodiesel plant to produce advanced biodiesel from the oil extracted from coffee grounds, which could then be used to power vehicles
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