EYE ON INNOVATION: Coffee Cup Made From Coffee Percolates With Investors

Nearly everyone loves coffee, right? But a coffee cup made from coffee? Really?

As it turns out, this cup is more about being green than any homage to coffee.

Fargo, North Dakota-based c2renew is seeking funds on Kickstarter for its c2cup: a travel coffee mug that’s made from a coffee biocomposite, using 30 percent recycled coffee grounds.

As of this week, the developers, who work out of a business and technology incubator at North Dakota State University, have garnered nearly $8,000 of a modest $20,000 goal, with a little more than a month remaining in the Kickstarter campaign.

We found this project intriguing because c2renew engineers are putting a twist on manufacturing processes like 3D printing and injection molding — and because we love coffee.

To develop the cup, the folks at c2renew created a biocomposite formula that is a hybrid of a bio-based resin and coffee waste. Developers claim that “this coffee biomass not only results in a greener plastic, it also cuts down on cost while maintaining the desired mechanical properties.”

Once the engineers had the biocomposite, they wanted to create a proof-of-concept cup, so they used the coffee biocomposite to make 3D printer filament and printed the first, if you will, coffee coffee cup. After the printed prototype success, developers decided that an injection molding tool would be necessary to make enough c2cups for everyone to enjoy.

C2renew was founded in 2011 and specializes in biocomposite formulations that use various agricultural residuals (waste materials) such as beer grains and sunflower hulls.

As Corey Kratcha, one of c2renew’s founders, recently told Fargo Monthly, “We’re not looking to revolutionize the way people are drinking their coffee. It’s a way to give folks a broader understanding of what waste products are used and how waste products are used.”

We’ll drink (coffee) to that.

Eye on Innovation is a weekly look at cool technology and products that we’ve mined from crowdsourcing sites and other corners of the Internet.

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