Converting coffee waste into biomaterial for the textile industry

Dr Giuseppe Tronci (Associate Professor at the School of Design) has recently been successful in securing funding by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to research converting coffee waste into useful biomaterial for the textile industry.

Coffee waste is a non-edible biomass of emerging importance due to its valuable organic composition, the lack of efficient recycling methods, and the coffee industry expansion, with the UK ranking among the largest coffee-consuming markets in Europe.

The research will exploit these appealing attributes of coffee waste to develop new bio-based polyester fibres that can be integrated, degraded and upcycled at the end of life into new forms of functional materials (e.g. environment-friendly face masks, antimicrobial coatings and controlled drug delivery devices) to enable future, circular textile manufacture.  This will meet the requirements of multiple industrial sectors and help the textile industry overcome the overreliance on non-recyclable synthetic fibres, facilitating the creation of a truly circular and sustainable polyester economy.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests to push back the frontiers of biology and work towards a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future.