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Nestlé will use coffee grounds from its Girona plant to produce energy

Seventeen million euros Nestlé plans to invest in its Girona plant to build a boiler and obtain process steam. Specialised in coffee production, the fuel used in this boiler will be made up precisely of remains of coffee grounds from this installation. Several studies have confirmed the high calorific value of this biofuel, which is up to sixty percent higher than wood, apart from having sufficient characteristics to produce solid biomass, biogas and biofuels.


A company in 2017, Biopar, and a researcher from the Rey Juan Carlos University, Juan Antonio Melero, in 2015, released studies in which they assured that pellets made with coffee grounds, properly dehydrated, have a calorific value between twenty and sixty percent higher than those made of wood.

Nestlé should have taken note of these and other studies, because now it explains that “because of its high calorific value, it is a biofuel suitable for generating energy in the form of steam. With this premise, it will invest 17.2 million euros in the manufacture of a boiler that uses the sediment resulting from the elaboration of instant coffee to obtain this steam within its own factory in Girona.

According to the press release, the factory produces about 45,000 tons of coffee grounds per year and it is expected that eighty percent will be used for energy production. It should be borne in mind that this by-product can also be used as a fertilizer, to obtain activated carbon that absorbs gases, a food additive (they are a powerful antioxidant) and to manufacture other biofuels, both solid and liquid and gaseous.

Twenty-five percent reduction in gas consumption

Nestlé calculates that the boiler will come into operation in June 2020 and “will generate 125,000 tons of steam per year, which will reduce by twenty-five percent the consumption of natural gas in the factory.

Finally, the Swiss multinational affirms that this commitment “will complement other efficient energy generation processes already existing at the Nestlé factory in Girona, such as cogeneration with gas turbines that produce electricity and, subsequently, steam thanks to a recovery boiler that takes advantage of the thermal energy contained in the hot gases”.

Nestlé predicts that “from 2020, seventy percent of the energy produced in this factory will be totally efficient”, although one of the products manufactured in Girona, the monodose coffee capsules, continues to receive continuous criticism for the waste of resources involved in its production (six grams of coffee in three grams of container) and for the complexity of its recycling. Unless they are biodegradable.

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