Since 2006, Dunkin’ Donuts has used the tagline “America Runs on Dunkin’,” presumably alluding to the coffee and donuts that get millions of Americans through each morning. But maybe, all along, they’ve had something more in mind. Above, Dunkin’ presents a tiny home powered by biofuel made from spent coffee grounds, a process masterminded by a company called Blue Marble Biomaterials. Working with luxury tiny homebuilder New Frontier Tiny Homes, they’ve created a process–notes a Dunkin’ press release–that works something like this:
- Step 1: Extract excess oils in the spent coffee grounds. There can be natural oils left in spent coffee grounds, all depending on the coffee bean type and original processing methods.
- Step 2: Mix and react. These oils are then mixed with an alcohol to undergo a chemical reaction known as transesterification. This produces biodiesel and glycerin as a byproduct.
- Step 3: Refine. The biodiesel is washed and refined to create the final product.
When all is said and done, 170 pounds of used coffee grounds translates into one gallon of fuel. From 65,000 pounds of coffee grounds, you got enough juice to power a 275 square foot home, at least for a while.