Redefining waste to find beauty in decay


Ground-breaking waste extraction process offers sustainable alternative to palm oil

Redefining waste to find beauty in decay

Asynt reports how Revive Eco (Glasgow, Scotland) are using their ReactoMate ATOM jacketed lab reactor and CondenSyn MAXI system to scale-up an innovative patent-pending process that allows them to strip out an oil from waste coffee grounds which has a very similar fatty acid profile to palm oil.

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks worldwide with around two billion cups consumed every day. With an estimated average of 11 grams of fresh ground coffee going into each cup, around 381,000 tonnes of ground coffee are brewed every year, resulting in an estimated quarter of a million tonnes of wet, waste coffee grounds going to landfill. Revive-Eco are working to change that.

Many products from cosmetics to food and drink, contain palm oil as a key ingredient – the production of which has a devastating impact on our rainforests and the eco systems that depend on them. Revive Eco’s coffee-derived alternative to palm oil offers the same versatile application benefits whilst diverting matter from landfill and ultimately protecting the planet.

Scott Kennedy, cofounder of Revive Eco, said: “We are passionate about creating innovative solutions to protect the environment. Our coffee grounds extraction process is having a massive positive impact on waste reduction and production of accessible and sustainable chemistry resources already and this is just a start as we are investigating additional potential derivatives as well as the coffee oil.”

Dawn Thompson, Senior Process Chemist at Revive Eco, commented: “Until relatively recently we were only able to make the coffee oil on a small scale in the lab. Growing awareness of the need for sustainability, particularly in the cosmetics and food and drink industry, meant the demand for our coffee oil and the coffee oil products was increasing rapidly."

"We were in a position where, if we were not able to scale-up our process, we would have long lead times for our products and eventually would not be able to meet client demand. Asynt provided the ideal solution to our problem."

"Asynt’s Dr Kerry Elgie worked with us closely to understand our needs and provided us with a bespoke 20 L jacketed reactor with the ATOM stand, overhead agitator, heater chiller unit and a large-scale condenser which is vital for us when we are isolating our coffee oil."

"This CondenSyn MAXI waterless condenser fits beautifully into our ethos at Revive where we strive to find new possibilities in old problems, and because it’s waterless we are quite literally saving thousands of litres of water per run."

"It’s also a lot a lot safer and a lot easier to run in the laboratory than a water condenser as we’ve eliminated the risk of water tubing leakages or accidents. All-in-all, the ReactoMate reactor and the CondenSyn truly allow us to make our green process sustainable.”

ReactoMate ATOM jacketed lab reactors are designed for process chemistries up to 30 Litres. These high-performance lab reactors come with almost endless customisation options to alter vessel dimensions, vessel and lid materials, automation and much more.

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The CondenSyn Waterless Air Condenser range is a proven ‘green’ replacement for water cooled condensers and suitable for greater than 95% of all chemical reflux applications. By not using cooling water the environmental impact of a lab using CondenSyn is dramatically reduced, as is the cost of water usage.