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CRWatch, a roundup of recent business sustainability news - March 2012

Energy from coffee waste, Twitter’s self-censorship and more sustainable clothing

Refuelling

Coffee for fuel

A US research project is under way to turn coffee waste into clean energy.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has joined forces with the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Centre (EERC) and bio-energy specialist Wynntryst to develop a gasification power system that takes everyday waste from coffee processing plants – such as coffee residues, plastic packaging and paper– and turns it into fuel.

The technology used to gasify the waste and generate clean synthetic gas, known as syngas, was adapted from a project between the EERC and Nasa to test whether they could efficiently convert waste from space stations and lunar bases into energy.

Green Mountain distributes coffee products to big name brands including McDonald’s and Starbucks, and has taken heat for its line of single, disposable plastic Keurig coffee cups, which are not recyclable due to the foil’s polyethylene coating. The company says it is working to...

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