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Texas A&M Study Researching Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer


A two-year study at Texas A&M University is examining the feasibility of using spent coffee grounds as fertilizer.

A research project is underway at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, that aims to put spent coffee grounds to good use.

The research team, made up of a professor and a graduate student, are comparing the effects of using fresh and composted coffee grounds as fertilizer to organic and synthetic slow- and quick-release fertilizers. Composted coffee grounds are estimated to have a slightly higher nutrient level than non-composted grounds. Spent coffee grounds have a carbon-nitrogen ratio of about 20 to 1 and 2.5 to 3 percent nitrogen content.

Cold brew coffee is being used for the experiment, as the nutrient value is higher than hot brew. The grounds are applied to the test areas using a rotary spreader.

Ten different treatments are being tested, including one plot of turf that is untreated. At the end of the two-year study, the turf will be evaluated on growth, quality and color.

One major North American coffee producer estimates that they produce about 40 cubic yards of spent coffee grounds daily, and are expecting to produce up to 250 cubic yards a day by 2018.

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August 18, 2019, 12:49 am PDT

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