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Where the roads are paved with coffee

From the June 2016 issue.

A new research project has found a novel use for used coffee.

Arul Arulrajah
Melbourne is a city well known for its obsession with coffee, but while there is a café on every street corner, in the future those streets could literally be paved with the stuff.

At least that’s what will happen if Professor Arul Arulrajah, leader of the geotechnical group in the Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, has his way.

Arulrajah has made a career out of exploring novel uses for by-products and waste material in civil construction, but few have been as close to his heart as this.

“It’s essentially just an idea that I had because I’m an avid coffee drinker – I drink four to five cups of coffee per day – and I just noticed that the baristas throw it away and I’m aware that it then goes to landfill, so I thought why not have a look at this as an engineering material and examine what I need to stabilise it and make it work for road fill applications,” he tells Global Coffee Report.

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