Researchers from Aston University (Britain) conducted a successful experiment on the development of biodiesel fuel from algae, using used coffee grounds as the basis for the process. This material has considerable potential, but low commercial value, so coffee grounds are often simply disposed of, and at best used as compost. However, British scientists have found that it is ideal as a nutrient medium for growing beneficial algae.
Biodiesel is created by refining the oils that certain types of algae, such as Chlorella Vulgaris, release during their life cycle. The difficulty lies in growing them, for which the seedlings must be placed on a neutral substrate, such as polyurethane foam, and then watered abundantly with water with nutrients. The synthetic base can be replaced by other substances, ideally of biological origin, but this increases the cost of production.
Coffee grounds turned out to be the best option – this is a biological environment rich in useful substances, but at the same time, in essence, it is a waste that costs nothing. Thickness acts both as a substrate for planting seedlings of algae, and as a source of components necessary for their growth. All that remains is to add sunlight to grow enough biomass to produce oil for biodiesel.
The first experiments were successful, and scientists received high-quality biodiesel fuel that meets EU standards. The use of waste raw materials and rapidly growing algae will significantly reduce the waste of useful resources and increase the production of such fuel without the use of fossil materials.