For the very first time, researchers have, in a breakthrough study; successfully converted coffee industry waste into electricity might help the farmers as well as lessen pollution levels in the world. Huge quantities of liquid waste are generated by the coffee industry while converting the coffee cherries into 9.5 million tons of coffee produced across the world each year.
The farms generate wastewater while washing the coffee beans or seeds as well as during the process of developing instant coffee. However, as per a new study involving Colombian researchers has proved that it is not just possible to remove the contaminants from wastewater, but it’s also possible to produce electricity during the process.
The research team led by the Surrey University built a fuel cell which does not use chemicals but instead uses microbes that eat up the waste material and produce energy in small quantities. Systems microbiologist, Claudio Avignone Rossa from the university said that although the amount of electricity produced is not enough to lighten up the entire London, it sure can help light up an area where there was no light at all.
The farmers will also be able to benefit from it as they will be able to generate energy in a small amount from the waste material they throw away, Avignone Rossa added.
This will make the environment much cleaner as well as offer little financial assistance to the farm, Avignone Rossa further said.
The microbes used to turn the coffee industry waste are somewhat similar to those found in sludge generated from the wastewater treatment plants. However, Avignone Rossa said that these microbes could also be discovered in the Colombian farms. The fuel cells built by the researchers is roughly are nearly about the size of a drink can. Well, one will have to see what the researchers would do next to advance their research.