top of page

Coffee Flavored Concrete

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Close-up of white coffee mug with Mutual Assurance logo on it,  sitting on a desk top next to a spent coffee pod and employee sitting at her desk looking a computer screen in the background.

Over 23 billion pounds of spent coffee grounds are generated each year around the world. Usually destined for landfills, the greenhouse gas emissions created to transport these take a toll on the environment.

A recent discovery by researchers at Australia's RMIT University has found that using coffee biochar (a substance created when coffee grounds are heated to just over 650° F without oxygen so carbon dioxide is not generated) in lieu of 15% of the sand used in traditional concrete creates a more resilient building material.

In fact, coffee biochar "infused" concrete is up to 30% stronger.

"Our research is in the early stages, but these exciting findings offer an innovative way to greatly reduce the amount of organic waste that goes to landfills," Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch, a postdoctoral fellow and join lead author, said.

According to Kilmartin-Lynch, biochar is structurally finer than sand, but its porous quality lets the concrete bind better to the organic material.

Substituting biochar for some of the sand also cuts down on the nearly 50 billion metric tons of natural sand that is used annually in construction projects around the world, lessening the stress placed on ecosystems like riverbeds and banks.

The next step for the team is to study the viability of using coffee biochar in concrete production and find practical implementation methods. You may have heard of the group using diapers from landfills to make stronger concrete as well. Kilmartin-Lynch says they may look for a way to partner with those research groups and make an even larger impact on decreasing global waste.

If you've ever used coffee grinds in your garden to prevent weeds and ward off pests, you'll know you catch a slight aroma of coffee when you go outside. Maybe coffee lovers will get a similar boost to the senses if coffee is used to help build their homes.


Source: Popular Science



Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page