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UK scientists turn coffee industry waste into electricity


Scientists have turned coffee waste into electricity for the first time, in research that could help farmers and curb pollution in the developing world.

The coffee industry generates a huge amount of liquid waste during the process of turning the raw material of the tree – the coffee cherries – into the 9.5m tons of coffee the world produces each year.

Wastewater is generated by farms during the washing of coffee seeds, or beans, and during the water-intensive process of making instant coffee. But now a UK-funded program, working with Colombian researchers, has proven that it can not only remove the contaminants from the water but make electricity in the process.

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