How Your Coffee Grounds Can Help Save the World


As if coffee isn’t amazing enough already. A team of researchers—who, yes, got the idea over a cup of coffee—are reporting in the journal Nanotechnology that soaking spent coffee grounds in potassium hydroxide and then heating the grounds in a furnace creates a material that can store up to 7% of its weight in methane, a greenhouse gas that Popular Science calls both “incredibly potent” and “much stronger than carbon dioxide.”

Further, the scientists write they were able to create their carbon capture material in fewer than 24 hours—”a fraction of the time” it normally takes. Trapping and storing methane is a double win for the environment: Not only does doing so remove the harmful greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, but it can also be used as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels that can, say, power cars.


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