Integration of chlorogenic acid recovery and bioethanol production from spent coffee grounds

Anna Burniol Figols, Katarzyna Cenian, Ioannis V. Skiadas, Hariklia N. Gavala

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Spent coffee grounds (SCG) are an abundant by-product of the coffee industry with a complex composition that makes them a promising feedstock for a biorefinery. The objective of this study was to evaluate SCG as a substrate for combined chlorogenic acid and bioethanol production after dilute acid hydrolysis. The effect of phenolics extraction on the downstream process was evaluated exhibiting no loss of sugars and an increase in the sugar release efficiency during the dilute acid hydrolysis. In order to suggest an economically feasible process, phenolics extraction and dilute acid hydrolysis prior to ethanol fermentation were optimised by means of experimental design. The responses of the designs were not only the efficiencies of the processes, but also a balance between product recovery and estimated costs. In both cases, decreased efficiencies obtained with low liquid-solid ratios were countervailed by increased products concentrations and higher economical performance. Under the optimised conditions, the purity of the phenolics extract (32%) could allow it to enter the market as a dietary supplement of chlorogenic acid, a product with high trade value. Moreover, a concentration of 3.9% (w/v) ethanol was reached upon fermentation of the hydrolysate of SCG after extraction and dilute acid hydrolysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Pages (from-to)54–64
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Bioconversion
  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Ethanol
  • Fermentation
  • Process integration
  • Spent coffee grounds


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