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OMG! Leftover Coffee Grounds Can Now Make Buildings Stronger?

leftover coffee grounds

Yo, coffee lovers! Here’s some mind-blowing news for you.  Scientists in Australia just discovered a super cool way to use your leftover coffee grounds – and it’s not just for composting! Turns out, used coffee grounds can make concrete WAY stronger!

Winning on Waste & Saving the Planet

Every year, the world throws away a TON of coffee grounds – like, 22 BILLION pounds to be exact!   This ends up in landfills, which is bad news for the environment because it creates methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.  But wait, there’s more!  The construction industry also uses a ton of sand, which can hurt rivers and ecosystems when it’s mined.

Coffee to the Rescue!

These clever scientists figured out a way to turn this whole situation around.  They take those leftover coffee grounds and heat them in a special process called “pyrolyzing” (think the fancy science-y way of burning without oxygen). This creates a charcoal-like material called “biochar” that has superpowers! Biochar is super strong and can bond with concrete, making it 30% stronger!  That’s like, a whole new level of strength! Plus, by using biochar, we can use less sand, which is a win for the environment.

Hold on, there's more!

The scientists are still testing this out to make sure the coffee-concrete combo is super durable in the long run. They’re also looking into using biochar made from other leftover stuff like food scraps and wood waste.  The future is looking pretty lit!

So, what does this mean for us?

Well, it might be a while before we see buildings made entirely out of coffee grounds (although wouldn’t that smell amazing?), but this research is a HUGE step towards a more sustainable future.  By giving our waste a second life, we can reduce landfill waste, protect our environment, and maybe even get some stronger buildings out of the deal. Pretty cool, right?

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