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EcoBean seals Portuguese spent coffee grounds recycling partnership

The Polish coffee grounds recycling start-up EcoBean Sp. z o.o (EcoBean) has initiated a new partnership with Prio Energy S.A (PRIO), a Portuguese transportation fuel, gas, and power distributor and retailer, and Delta Cafés, the biggest coffee producer in Portugal. The partnership aims to transform spent coffee grounds (SCG) into briquettes for barbecue and biodiesel, giving new life to a material that would be considered waste.

The Polish coffee grounds recycling start-up EcoBean Sp. z o.o (EcoBean) has initiated a new partnership with Prio Energy S.A (PRIO), a Portuguese transportation fuel, gas, and power distributor and retailer, and Delta Cafés, the biggest coffee producer in Portugal. The partnership aims to transform coffee grounds into briquettes for barbecue and biodiesel, giving new life to a material that would be considered waste (photo courtesy InnoEnergy).

The project was born in the entrepreneurship program PRIO Jump Start 2020, an initiative co-organized and sponsored by Portugal Ventures, InovaRia, Microsoft for Startups, Câmara Municipal de Ílhavo, and the Netherlands-headed EIT InnoEnergy (InnoEnergy), a European impact fund investing in solutions in the area of energy and cleantech that also supported all the parts to achieve this partnership.

A spin-off from Warsaw University of Technology, EcoBean has developed a proprietary technology to produce briquettes or pellets, biodegradable flower pots, biodegradable coffee capsules, oils, and fragrances from spent coffee grounds (SCG), along with a complete “circular economy” service program.

This service program relies on waste coffee pick up from cafes or offices and includes special bins and bags, footprint reports, corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports, and marketing input.

Combined, EcoBean says that it provides a “ready-made circular economy solution that can help any company using coffee to reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint.

According to EIT InnoEnergy, the new partnership with PRIO and Delta Cafés in Portugal will produce briquettes for barbecue as a first product. PRIO operates around 250 filling stations nationwide and the briquettes will be available from August 2021 at stations where the Delta coffee is also served.

The next step of the partnership will be to validate the technical feasibility of producing advanced biodiesel from the oil extracted from the collected coffee grounds. PRIO operates a tank terminal, a gas filling plant, and a 114 000 tonnes-per-annum biodiesel plant in the Port of Aveiro.

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