Updated May 24, 2019

Ethanol production from industrial coffee milling waste

Edgar Valverde camacho

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Coffee pulp represents 40% of the fruit and since it is considered as waste, it then represents 79% of the CO2 emissions on the central mill. By using the juice as raw material, ethanol can be produced as feed stock for boutique products or bio fuels

We use the juice from the pulp to produce alcohol and then distill it. Bottoms of the columns are used as feed stock for bio gas production as well to be reintroduced to the process.
We use the juice from the pulp to produce alcohol and then distill it. Bottoms of the columns are used as feed stock for bio gas production as well to be reintroduced to the process.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

Design was tested via pilot scale plant which was built and measured. We are currently working on the business development as well as the incorporation of enzymatic processes for efficiency enhancements in order to have long term sustainability.

Focus Areas:

Environment, Economic Recovery, Private Sector Competitiveness and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Environment, Economic Recovery, Private Sector Competitiveness, Biomass/BioFuel and TechnologySEE LESS

Implemented In:

Costa Rica

Costa RicaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In

Problem

Costa Rica generates around 198 million kg of coffee pulp per year and the industry is the second largest source of emissions in our country's agricultural system. Also, international coffee prices generate financial pressures on the farmers and sector and, since we only represent around 2% of global coffee production, the overall business strategy needs to be refocused towards innovative and sustainable goods and services with added value to be more competitive and sustainable long term.

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Solution

Ethanol can be used as feedstock to generate boutique products for the consumer market, specially taking into consideration that there is still not a category for distilled products from the coffee cherry. Good financial results would indicate that the bigger mills could focus on more innovative types of products while small farmers could deliver the raw material and compete in the specialty coffee, having a better impact in the overall value chain.

Target Beneficiaries

Costa Rica's farmers, milling companies and coffee value chain

Mission and Vision

Demonstrate that profitable business can be made while being environmentally and socially sustainable as development tool.

Competitive Advantage

This technology requires the pulp to be stabilized as juice and fibrous matter. By using as much as the plant as possible, financial results could be better instead of production expansion and specialty markets.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Complete feasibility study and construction of industrial plant.
Funding Goal300,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted55,000
New Implemented CountriesColombia, Panama

The Team Behind the Innovation

We are a small business with two members. Eduardo is a 32 year-old mechanical engineer and M.Sc in Economics with experience in steam systems and the agro industry across Central America. Edgar is a 30 year-old chemical engineer and MBA with emphasis on project management that has worked previously on the coffee milling industry, as well as international companies such as Amazon and as counselor for the Minister of Economics, Industry and Commerce.

Milestone

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Dec 2015
New Country Implemented In
Costa Rica