You may someday drive a car powered by coffee
Coffee junkies rely on their daily java to propel them through the morning, but it may not be long before automobiles are also powered by caffeine.
Green Mountain Roaster, a company that provides beans to both McDonald's and Starbucks, is using waste from its coffee roasting process to create SynGas
. Similar to natural gas, this biofuel may one day be a common material used to fuel vehicles or heat homes.
The process of making SynGas is very similar to roasting coffee beans: the waste materials are heated to around 572 degrees, which eventually results in a dry, energy-rich power. This process is known as torrefaction. Almost any plant-based material, including wood scraps, can be used to create the product.
Researchers at the University of Leeds
have also done something similar in recent years. In addition to the potential uses listed above, it's thought that the powder can also be used as a replacement for coal.
There's just one problem: these powdered energy sources are literal powderkegs. Torrefied powder can explode when not stored properly, but as the technology matures, it's hoped that this kink will eventually get ironed out.