Biogas Production Potential from Coffee Wastewater A case study of Gatomboya Wet Coffee Factory

Kenya is a major producer of coffee in east Africa with about 70% production done by small
scale farmers (Mutua 2000). Among the arrears where coffee farming and production is done
is at Karatina town in Nyeri County. This research with Gatomboya wet coffee factory in
Karatina as the focus of the case study.
Wet coffee processing is the most widely used technique in almost all factories in Kenya,
with Gatomboya being inclusive. It is estimated that coffee processing generates about
9million m3 of wastewater and 600,000 tons of husks annually in East Africa region (Amelia
et al., 2010). Such a large amount of wastewater can be used to generate bioenergy. This
would ensure less water goes to waste since it is being recycled and the energy produced can
even be used for the coffee wet processing altogether.
The aim of the research was to evaluate the feasibility of biogas production potential from
coffee wastewater. This was through doing a case study on Gatomboya wet processing mill in
Nyeri County whereby sample collection is done from the above factory. Laboratory tests
such as COD and BOD were determined for the wastewater sample and the BOD/COD ratio

calculated to determine whether the wastewater sample is biodegradable hence suitable for
biogas production.
The BOD/COD ratio of the wastewater sample collected was found to be 0.49 which inferred
that the coffee wastewater sample is biodegradable hence a potential of biogas production
(Gilbert, E., 1987).


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