Technological watch

Valorization of Spent Coffee Grounds as Precursors for Biopolymers and Composite Production

Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are a current subject in many works since coffee is the second most consumed beverage worldwide; however, coffee generates a high amount of waste (SCG) and can cause environmental problems if not discarded properly. Therefore, several studies on SCG valorization have been published, highlighting its waste as a valuable resource for different applications, such as biofuel, energy, biopolymer precursors, and composite production. This review provides an overview of the works using SCG as biopolymer precursors and for polymer composite production. SCG are rich in carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and minerals. In particular, carbohydrates (polysaccharides) can be extracted and fermented to synthesize lactic acid, succinic acid, or polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). On the other hand, it is possible to extract the coffee oil and to synthesize PHA from lipids. Moreover, SCG have been successfully used as a filler for composite production using different polymer matrices. The results show the reasonable mechanical, thermal, and rheological properties of SCG to support their applications, from food packaging to the automotive industry.

Publication date: 22/01/2022

Author: Anne Shayene Campos de Bomfim

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14030437

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.