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Coffee grounds are created almost everywhere in the world, but are usually thrown away without a second thought. The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) and other partners have come up with a better idea : they want to obtain high-quality intermediate products from coffee grounds, from which bioplastics can then be made, for example. It is also conceivable that the so-called intermediates might contribute to improvements in the properties of other end products. For this the coffee grounds are first separated into component groups, cleaned and converted into intermediate products. The idea is then to check these for various practical applications.

In other places, too, experiments are being carried out with the “stimulating drink”, which is the meaning of the word coffee in Arabic. Ford, for example, has concluded a cooperation agreement with McDonald’s in the USA: the shells of the coffee beans which are left behind during roasting will be used in future to make vehicle components. Compared to other materials, weight and energy can be saved in this way.