Coffee Grounds Could Foretell Future Of Methane Emissions

By Scott Weeden, E&P Magazine.

Imagine how many pots of coffee are brewed each day and the incredible amounts of coffee grounds that are tossed in the trash. What if those coffee grounds could be used for methane carbon storage instead? Would that be the end of fl aring as we know it? That’s when you could use a good fortune teller to divine the future of carbon storage from reading coffee grounds, tea leaves or wine sediments.

Researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea have found a way to modify used coffee grounds into a carbon-capture material, according to an article in the September 2015 journal Nanotechnology from IOP Publishing. Of course, the researchers had to use the best coffee grounds—100% Colombian coffee, dark roast, fine ground—to devise a simple, inexpensive method for removing methane from the atmosphere.

The coffee grounds were steeped in a solution of potassium hydroxide, heated to 65 C (149 F) and stirred for 24 hours. The mixture was then dried.