Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

An evaluation of Dimethyl Ether as a potential solvent for the extraction of oil from spent coffee grounds

Sands, Chris (2014) An evaluation of Dimethyl Ether as a potential solvent for the extraction of oil from spent coffee grounds. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

PDF - Whole Thesis
Download (1MB)


The world’s dependence on fossil fuel based energy is causing major environmental and economic concerns. The need for environmentally friendly and sustainable fuel alternatives has been the driving force behind the recent advancements in biodiesel technology. However, the major battle that the biodiesel industry faces today is finding low cost and high quality oil feedstocks that will allow biodiesel to become economically competitive against fossil based diesel. One feedstock that could provide this solution is oil derived from spent coffee grounds. This work presents an alternative approach to the traditional hexane based Soxhlet extraction method by extracting oil from spent coffee grounds using Dimethyl Ether. The results obtained show extraction yields similar to those achieved by the standard hexane method. To analyze the quality of the extracted oil, different methyl esters constituents of the extracted oil were characterized using GC-MS techniques, identifying mainly C14 and C16 carbon chains. Mass and energy requirements of this process were determined by developing an Aspen Plus model from the results gathered during experimentation. A techno-economic assessment was performed to prove the economic feasibility of an industrial scale processing plant. The influence of temperature, rate of extraction and extraction efficiency should be investigated in future work. Moreover, to verify and validate the results obtained from the Aspen Plus model and techno-economic assessment, further development of the model and a detailed analysis is required.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Bahri, Parisa and De Boer, Karne
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year