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Biomass coffee waste utilisation in Central America

($34,000 advisory support for $1,000,000 total investment)


Advising a European commercial bank on a proposed biomass investment in Central America (coffee processing waste recovery). This investment is part of a pipeline of projects being prepared in development of a carbon investment fund.


Coffee enterprises in Central America dry coffee beans using wood from local forests. This low efficiency (30%) drying process produces about 250000 tons of CO2 annually. The coffee shells, or broza, which are separated from the beans in the process, are dumped as a waste product resulting in river pollution and methane emissions from anaerobic decomposition. Preliminary feasibility studies have shown that the process efficiency can be increased substantially and that the broza can be used as additional firing material in substitute for wood.

UNEP is cost-sharing with the bank the incremental aspects of investment evaluation, specifically in the areas of technology assessment, economic and social review, environmental assessment, and is both cost-sharing and providing in-kind expertise in the area of CDM assessment (provided by Mac Callaway from UNEP's Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment).


Project evaluation completed December 2000. Pilot commissionned February 2002.