Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 9, pp 6461–6472 | Cite as

A comprehensive review on utilization of wastewater from coffee processing

  • Supriya Rattan
  • A. K. ParandeEmail author
  • V. D. Nagaraju
  • Girish K. Ghiwari
Review Article


The coffee processing industry is one of the major agro-based industries contributing significantly in international and national growth. Coffee fruits are processed by two methods, wet and dry process. In wet processing, coffee fruits generate enormous quantities of high strength wastewater requiring systematic treatment prior to disposal. Different method approach is used to treat the wastewater. Many researchers have attempted to assess the efficiency of batch aeration as posttreatment of coffee processing wastewater from an upflow anaerobic hybrid reactor (UAHR)-continuous and intermittent aeration system. However, wet coffee processing requires a high degree of processing know-how and produces large amounts of effluents which have the potential to damage the environment. Characteristics of wastewater from coffee processing has a biological oxygen demand (BOD) of up to 20,000 mg/l and a chemical oxygen demand (COD) of up to 50,000 mg/l as well as the acidity of pH below 4. In this review paper, various methods are discussed to treat coffee processing wastewaters; the constitution of wastewater is presented and the technical solutions for wastewater treatment are discussed.


Coffee Pulp Wastewater Mucilage 



The authors thank the director of CSIR-CFTRI for giving kind permission to publish this paper.


  1. ABIC (2011) Brazilian Association of Coffee Industry (Technical information)Google Scholar
  2. Ahmad R, Magan N (2002) Microfloral contamination and hydrolytic enzymes differences between monsooned and nonmonsooned coffees. Lett Appl Microbiol 34:279–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alemayehu H, Devi R (2007) Effect of effluent generated from coffee processing plant on the water bodies and human health in its vicinity. J Hazard Mater 152:259–262Google Scholar
  4. Belitz H D, Grosch W, Schieberle P (2009) Food chemistry (4th ed.) Heidelberg: Springer Chapter 21Google Scholar
  5. Bhumiratana N, Adhikari K, Chambers E IV (2011) Evolution of sensory aroma attributes from coffee beans to brewed coffee. Food Sci Technol 44:2185–2192Google Scholar
  6. Bonilla-Hermosa VA, Duarte WF, Schwan RF (2014) Utilization of coffee by-products obtained from semi-washed process for production of value-added compounds. Bioresour Technol 166:142–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Braham JE, Bressani R (1979) Coffee pulp composition technologies utilization. INCAP, Bogota, ColombiaGoogle Scholar
  8. Brohan M, Huybrighs T, Wouters C, Bruggen BV (2009) Influence of storage conditions on aroma compounds in coffee pads using static headspace GC-MS. Food Chem 116:480–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cabezas MT, Flores A, Egana JI (1987) Use of coffee pulp in ruminant feeding: composition, technology and utilization. Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama, Guatemala City, pp 25–38Google Scholar
  10. Carbonell AJ, Vilanova M (1974) Beneficiado rápido y eficiente del café mediante el uso de Soda Caustica. Cited by Cleves, Rodrigo. In Justificación de un proyecto para investigar Ia obtención de pectina a partir del mucIlago del café. Departamento de studios técnicos y diversificación. Proyecto 1. Subproyecto 5. Oficina de Café, San José, Costa RicaGoogle Scholar
  11. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ministry of Environment & Forests www.cpcb.nicia
  12. Clifford MN, Kazi T (1987) The influence of coffee seed maturity on the content of chlorogenic acids, caffeine and trigonelline. Food Chem 26:59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clifford MN, Ramirez-Martinez JR (1991) Phenols and caffeine in wet-processed coffee seeds and coffee pulp. Food Chem 40:35–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coffee Board of India (accessed December 3, 2007)
  15. Domenech X, Jardim WF, Litter M (2001) Elimination of pollutants by heterogeneous photocatalysis. Latin-american cooperation CYTED. Sci & Tech for the Development, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Chapter 1, 15Google Scholar
  16. Duarte G, Pereira A, Marques V, Farah A (2009) Comparison of chlorogenic acids contents in Coffea arabica, Coffea canephora and hybrids resistant to Meloidogyne exigua. Proc. 22rd Int. Conf. Coffee Sci. ASIC, Trieste, Italy 508–512Google Scholar
  17. Enden VJC, Calvert KC (2002a) Limit Environmental Damage By Basic Knowledge of Coffee Waste Waters. GTZ-PPP Project-Improvement of coffee quality and sustainability of coffee production in Vietnam. <>
  18. Enden V J C, Calvert Ken C (2002b) Review of Coffee Waste Water Characteristics and Approaches to Treatment. GTZ-PPP Project “Improvement of coffee quality and sustainability of coffee production in Vietnam”Google Scholar
  19. Esquivel P, Jiménez VM (2012) Functional properties of coffee and coffee by-products. Food Res Int 46:488–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Etiégni L, Orori B O, Senelwa K, Mwamburi M M, Balozi B K, Maghanga J K (2011) Ash leachate used as supporting electrolyte during wastewater treatment by electrocoagulation. Geophy Res Abs 13Google Scholar
  21. Fan L, Soccol CR (2005) Coffee residues. Shiitake Bag Cultivation. Chapter 4. Mushroom Grower’s Handbook 2: 92–95Google Scholar
  22. Fan L, Soccol AT, Pandey A, Soccol CR (2003) Cultivation of Pleurotus mushrooms on Brazilian coffee husk and effects of caffeine and tannic acid. Micol Appl Int 15(1):15–21Google Scholar
  23. Frisulloa P, Laversea J, Barnabà M, Navarini L, Del Nobilea MA (2012) Coffee beans microstructural changes induced by cultivation processing: an X-ray microtomographic investigation. J Food Eng 109:175–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gaime-Perraud I, Roussos S, Martínez Carrera D (1993) Natural microorganisms of the fresh coffee pulp. Micol Neotrop Appl 6:95–103Google Scholar
  25. Gathuo B, Rantala P, Maatta R (1991) Coffee industry wastes. Water Water Sci Technol 24(1):53–60Google Scholar
  26. Hernández MA, Rodríguez Susa M, Andres Y (2014) Use of coffee mucilage as a new substrate for hydrogen production in anaerobic co-digestion with swine manure. Bioresour Technol 168:112–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Huang CP, Dong C, Tang Z (1993) Advanced chemical oxidation: its present role and potential future in hazardous waste treatment. Waste Manag 13:361–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hue N V, Bittenbender H C, Ortiz-Escobar M E (2004) Managing coffee processing water in Hawaii, Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 USAGoogle Scholar
  29. International Coffee Organization, 2014 (ICO)
  30. International Coffee Organization (ICO) Statistics (2011) Breakdown of exports of green Arabica and green Robusta of countries exporting significant volumes of both types of coffee.
  31. International Energy Initiative (IEI), 2003Google Scholar
  32. Kumar MB, Ulavi SU, Ramesh HS, Asha G, Pallavi R (2012) Pretreatment of coffee pulping wastewater by Fenton’s reagent. Indian J Chem Technol 19:213–217Google Scholar
  33. Martínez-Carrera D, Aguilar A, Martínez W, Bonilla M, Morales P and Sobal M (2000) Commercial Production and Marketing of Edible Mushrooms Cultivated on Coffee Pulp in Mexico Coffee Biotechnology and Quality 471–488Google Scholar
  34. Menezes EGT, Do-Carmo JR, Menezes AGT, Alves JGLF, Pimenta CJ, Queiroz F (2013) Use of different extracts of coffee pulp for the production of bioethanol. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 169:673–687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mohana VS, Nandini N, Pramila CK, Manu KJ (2011) Effect of treated and untreated coffee wastewater on growth, yield and quality of palmarosa grass (Cymbopogon martini L.) var. motia. IJRCE 1(2):111–117Google Scholar
  36. Murthy PS, Madhava Naidu M (2012) Sustainable management of coffee industry by-products and value addition—a review. Resour Conserv Recycl 66:45–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mussatto SI, Machado EMS, Martins S, Teixeira AJ (2011) Production, composition, and application of coffee and its industrial residues. Food Bioprocess Technol 4:661–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Narasimha Murthy KV, Antonette D’Sa, Gaurav Kapur (2004) An effluent treatment-cum-electricity generation option at coffee estates: is it financially feasible?. Draft version, International Energy Initiative, BangaloreGoogle Scholar
  39. Neves L, Oliveira R, Alves MM (2006) Anaerobic co-digestion of coffee waste and sewage sludge 26(2) :176–181Google Scholar
  40. O’Neill A, Foy RH, Phillips DH (2011) Phosphorus retention in a constructed wetland system used to treat dairy wastewater. Bioresour Technol 102:5024–5031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pandey A, Soccol CR, Nigam P, Brand D, Mohan R, Roussos S (2000) Biotechnological potential of coffee pulp and coffee husk for bioprocesses. Biochem Eng J 6:153–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ponte S (2002) The ‘Latte Revolution’? Regulation, markets and consumption in the global coffee chain. World Dev 30(7):1099–1122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pujola D, Liua C, Gominhoc J, Olivellab MÀ, Fiola N, Villaescusaa I, Pereirac H (2013) The chemical composition of exhausted coffee waste. Ind Crop Prod 50:423–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Purseglove JW (ed.) (1976) Rubiacae In: Tropical Crops: Vol 1: Dicotyledons. Longman, London, 458–492Google Scholar
  45. Reich A (2010) Coffee & tea: history in a cup. The Herbanist 76:9–15Google Scholar
  46. Rendo’n MY, Grata˜o PL, Salva TJG, Azevedo RA, Bragagnol N (2013) Antioxidant enzyme activity and hydrogen peroxide content during the drying of arabica coffee beans. Eur Food Res Technol 236:753–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. RubayizA AB, Meurens M (2005) Chemical discrimination of arabica and robusta coffees by Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy. J Agr Food Chem 53(12):4654–4659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schenker S R (2000) Investigations on the Hot Air Roasting of Coffee Beans. Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  49. Selvamurugan M, Doraisamy P, Maheswari M, Nandakumar NB (2009) High rate anaerobic treatment of coffee processing wastewater using upflow anaerobic hybrid reactor. IJEHSE 7(2):129–136Google Scholar
  50. Selvamurugan M, Doraisamy P, Maheswari M, Nandakumar NB (2010) Evaluation of batch aeration as a post treatment for reducing the pollution load of biomethanated coffee processing waste water. Global J Environ Res 4(1):31–33Google Scholar
  51. Specialty Coffee Association of Japan (SCAJ)
  52. Teresa ZP, Gunther G, Fernando H (2007) Chemical oxygen demand reduction in coffee wastewater through chemical flocculation and advanced oxidation processes. J Environ Sci 19:300–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Variyar PS, Ahmad R, Bhat R, Niyas Z, Sharma A (2003) Flavouring components of raw monsooned arabica coffee and their changes during radiation processing. J Agric Food Chem 51:7945–7950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Verbist B, Putra AED, Budidarsono S (2005) Factors driving land use change: effects on watershed functions in a coffee agroforestry system in Lampung, Sumatra. Agric Syst 5(3):254–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. World Resource Institute (2011)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Supriya Rattan
    • 2
  • A. K. Parande
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. D. Nagaraju
    • 1
  • Girish K. Ghiwari
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute MysoreKarnatakaIndia
  2. 2.University School of Biotechnology, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations