Costa Rica’s UCR Pioneers Coffee Waste Reuse for Sustainability

The University of Costa Rica (UCR) has developed a system that repurposes coffee waste to generate energy and nutrients. This innovative approach aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance energy efficiency. Coffee is a popular beverage globally, and Latin America is a major producer. However, the process of producing 2.3 kilograms of ground coffee requires 100 kilograms of fruit, which is then doubled as the coffee is processed. To address this issue, Costa Rican biosystems engineer Juan Pablo Rojas Sossa has developed a system that revalues the inputs used for ground coffee production, such as water and coffee fruit, through a biogas system. This process converts the waste emissions into energy and another part into nutrients for the crops. This innovative solution enables a circular economy model, allowing coffee producers to optimize resources invested in bean production by reusing waste, generating energy, obtaining nutrients, and reducing operating costs. The project has a significant environmental and economic impact, contributing to environmental conservation and generating new opportunities for clean energy generation. The working prototype is being implemented in collaboration with Coopetarrazú R. L., an industry capable of producing up to 950 tons of coffee waste daily.

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