Coffee could soon be a viable feedstock for biofuel production, according to new cutting-edge research.

Scientists at the University of Iowa have discovered a bacteria that feeds on caffeine, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This bacteria can therefore be used to decaffeinate waste coffee, with the by product being converted into biofuel.

Researcher Ryan Summers, who presented his work at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in New Orleans, US, explains that the process could allow them to convert the parent compound of caffeine, xanrthine, into all sorts of different products.

"We believe we can take caffeine, which is a very cheap feedstock, and pull off just the methyl group we want to replace. This would leave that nitrogen open for us to add another substituent to," he said.

The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) recently agreed a set of sustainability indicators for the biofuels industry, to ensure that the sector does not hamper food production.

Typical Guttridge equipment used in the biofuels industry includes:

Elevatorsbucket elevatorsvalves

Andy Parsons
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