Effect of different rates of spent coffee grounds (SCG) on composting process, gaseous emissions and quality of end-product

Waste Manag. 2017 Jan:59:37-47. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.10.020. Epub 2016 Oct 27.


The use of spent coffee grounds (SCG) in composting for organic farming is a viable way of valorising these agro-industrial residues. In the present study, four treatments with different amounts of spent coffee grounds (SCG) were established, namely, C0 (Control), C10, C20 and C40, containing 0, 10, 20 and 40% of SCG (DM), respectively; and their effects on the composting process and the end-product quality characteristics were evaluated. The mixtures were completed with Acacia dealbata L. shoots and wheat straw. At different time intervals during composting, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions were measured and selected physicochemical characteristics of the composts were evaluated. During the composting process, all treatments showed a substantial decrease in total phenolics and total tannins, and an important increase in gallic acid. Emissions of greenhouse gases were very low and no significant difference between the treatments was registered. The results indicated that SCG may be successfully composted in all proportions. However C40, was the treatment which combined better conditions of composting, lower GHG emissions and better quality of end product.

Keywords: Acacia dealbata; Coffee grounds; Compost; Greenhouse gases; Phytochemicals.

MeSH terms

  • Acacia / chemistry
  • Carbon Dioxide* / analysis
  • Carbon Dioxide* / metabolism
  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Coffee / metabolism
  • Fertilizers
  • Gallic Acid / metabolism
  • Methane* / analysis
  • Methane* / metabolism
  • Nitrous Oxide* / analysis
  • Nitrous Oxide* / metabolism
  • Plant Stems / chemistry
  • Plant Stems / metabolism
  • Soil* / chemistry
  • Temperature
  • Triticum / chemistry
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Coffee
  • Fertilizers
  • Soil
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Gallic Acid
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Methane