Discarded Coffee Cups Transformed Into Biofuel (Video)

If there are two things people are addicted to, it’s coffee and oil. For years, scientists and inventors have been looking for cheaper, more efficient ways to provide both humans and their cars with the energy they need.

Now, it seems that microbiologists Richard Sparling and David Levin have developed a method for using discarded coffee cups to feed ethanol-producing bacteria.

Traditionally, ethanol is extracted from food sources such as corn and wheat; however, this method is much more economical. Like most coffee drinkers, the bacteria show brand preference: Tim Hortons cups are preferred to Starbucks in the production of coffee cup biofuel.

Related Reading:

U.S. Doctors Say Biofuels Could Kill 192,000+ People Per Year

The Future Of Biodiesel Fuels

German Airline Will Offer Biofuel Flights In 2011

Image Credit: Flickr - Shortlake's Hobby


Firina A F.
Firina A F.5 years ago


Karren Exley
Karren Exley5 years ago

the companies who claim we need coal etc for fuel can now see there are loads of green ways to get fuel people use manure all sorts so theres no excuse they can keep up with the world & still be green we have the tools & the maens to produce bio fuel and not harm the earth & its residents

Ruth R.
Ruth R.5 years ago

Turing trash into fuel seems like a good thought. Coffee cups, cups in general -- need to be that sturdy cup paper, or glass, or your own mug. Let's get rid of the other whatever they are made of cups used for all sources.

Manuela C.
Manuela C.5 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago


Chris P.
Chris P.5 years ago

Hi everyone, I hear a German airline will be doing biofuel test flights this month.

Jerry B.
Jerry B.5 years ago

Not Timmies fault, it's to many lazy people not putting their cups in the proper containers!

Paula L.
Paula L.5 years ago

This is great. I hope they get the backing they need to implement their find. I hope they continue to find uses for other waste and get the recycling into full swing and reduce the danger of our sea and wildlife ingesting it.

pamela kirkham
Past Member 5 years ago

Everyone should recycle, and if going to a coffee shop take a reusable cup with you. We all should work on cutting back on waste. But what this video showed is a great way to help cut back on all of the waste going to landfills. I hate that our society is so wasteful.

irene fernandez
irene Fernandez5 years ago

What a great way to make good!