Coffee grounds turned into renewable energy

In Joure, in the Netherlands, Veolia and Douwe Egberts Master Blenders have developed a solution for reusing coffee grounds to produce steam, and thus reduce the coffee company’s consumption of natural gas.

Douwe Egberts Master Blenders (DEMB) produces instant coffee and liquid concentrated coffees using a vast quantity of steam. Two energy sources are used to generate this steam: natural gas and, thanks to the process developed in partnership with Veolia, spent coffee grounds.  

Turning waste into a source of renewable energy
Large quantities of spent coffee grounds from the roasting process are available on site. Once sent to a landfill, this bio-waste now supplies a biomass boiler that produces steam through a drying and combustion system.
Designed to support the increasing production of the site, the biomass boiler now consumes 33,000 tons of spent coffee grounds per year. The site has reduced its natural gas consumption, leading to a 70% reduction in its CO2 emissions, the equivalent to 14,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Wiebe Jongsma, 
Technical Director for DEMB in Joure, the Netherlands

“Veolia has helped us save on natural gas by using more grounds. This has led to savings of between €1 and €2 million, per year.”

Key figures illustrating solution deployment and results

33,000 metric tons of spent coffee grounds residue recycled per year


14,000 metric tons of CO2 avoided