Coffee Waste


Researchers at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany intend to develop a new disinfectant using plant waste such as coffee.

The research intends to create a disinfectant that’s more effective and widely applicable than previous products.

Professor Nikolai Kuhnert leads the project with his colleague Matthias Ullrich, Professor of Microbiology at Jacobs University. According to the chemistry Professor Nikolai Kuhnert, the applied many years to an important topic became increasingly prominent with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both have long been concerned with the antibacterial and antiviral effects of natural substances. They explained that coffee waste products contain many antibacterial substances.

Professor Nikolai Kuhnert said that they would use the outer layer of the coffee bean, which is separated before roasting and accumulates as waste at the roasters. The researchers also want to use compounds made from the remains of quince and rhododendrons.

The scientists’ are hoping to capitalise on many years of research to bring to market a practical product that will be green, organic, and sustainable.

The effort is carried out in partnership with Bremen companies ProPure – Protect, and Just in Air with secured funding from the Bremer Aufbau-Bank, who is funding the project with €100,000 (£89,562) for two years as part of it’s Applied Environmental Research funding programme. The contact with the two companies was established through a television report about their research on rhododendrons.

The intention is not only to increase the disinfectant’s effectiveness but also to develop the technology further, for example, spraying in aeroplanes, public transport, or hospitals during operation.


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