A potential replacement for the unpopular palm oil
Two Scottish entrepreneurs have big ideas on replacing palm oil in the home. Starting local with the goal of making it global.
Scott Kennedy and Fergus Moore have came up with a unique way to extract oil from used coffee grounds which has a huge range of potential uses.
Palm oil, the current go to oil for many of our house hold products has proven to be very unpopular and rightly so, this is more due to the rather destructive way in which production of the oil has been scaled up in recent years with large amounts of ancient rainforest being cut down in the pursuit of this useful oil. It's always interesting to see other alternatives creeping in, even more so if they are considered a by-product of another process.
Mr Kennedy and Mr Moore came up with their coffee grounds idea while working in coffee shops during their university years studying business in Glasgow's Strathclyde University. Working in a coffee shop is where they saw first-hand the amount of food waste produced by the hospitality sector, 60% of all cafe's waste is coffee grounds alone according to Mr Moore:
"In Scotland, that amounts to about 40,000 tonnes a year - across the UK, more than half a million tonnes. coffee grounds are so heavy that it takes their waste bill through the roof."
Further explaining the potential uses of this oil he explained that the oil uses extend to the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food & drink and house hold product markets, "you name it there's probably a use for it".
Their company Revive Eco are working on a process to extract and purify these oils. Mr Moore continues "The most exciting part for us is that they have all the same components as palm." They are both excited that they could potentially have a solution or a partial solution for the palm oil which has in recent months received some negative press.
They aim to have the process up and running by summer 2020. They are also representing Scotland and Northern Island in the Chivas Venture competition. The winners will be announced in Amsterdam in May, a share of a funding pot of £776.000 is available. The core of their business model will be to have the process running in and around major coffee drinking cites producing high quality oil in a local and sustainable way, they aim longer term to have this working in Rome, Paris & Berlin and any other heavy coffee drinking city's around the world.
Robotic coffee dance
Selfridges has a 109 year history and the department store has a pedigree for gaining technological firsts. The London department store in Oxford Street has played host to a number of new technologies from the Bleriot XI aeroplane, the first ever to cross the channel, as well as the first demonstration of a television set and many more. The machine they have in store now is a robot called YuMi and its main employment in this instance is to make a great cup of coffee. The complexity of making a good cup of coffee requires a great deal of precision, a skill that we have the fortune to take for granted every day, it's actually very difficult for a machine to master. The accuracy of YuMi is thanks to years of R&D and a plethora of sensors.
YuMi is proof that the tech path is still alive and well as the store is set to take in its first ever robot, Abb's YuMi duel-arm collaborative robot. YuMi stands for You and Me working together and it was introduced in 2015. It was originally designed to take on repetitive high accuracy tasks in a manufacturing role such as the handling of phones and watches.
A collection of articles written by the dedicated staff of Masteroast