Bühler builds ultra-low-emission coffee processing plant

February 9, 2018

Bühler is building the world’s most efficient climate- and environmental-friendly coffee processing plant for the Norwegian coffee producer Joh. Johannson. It combines innovative roasting technology with low greenhouse gas emissions. The coffee roasting biogas is close to carbon neutral, making the processing plant with the lowest emissions globally possible. The plant, which is to produce up to 12,000 tons of coffee annually, is scheduled to go on stream in mid-2019.

For this low-carbon production plant, Bühler will supply the complete process technology—from green coffee intake to cleaning, blending, roasting, and grinding. For the roasting process, Bühler has fitted its Infinity Roaster with a unique preheating unit and a novel energy recovery system. The system operates on the basis of collecting heat by multiple heat exchangers, allowing centralized intermediate storage of the energy released by the process in temperature-stratified water tanks. The energy stored is largely used for powering the same roasting process and preheating of green coffee, but may also be reused, say, for raising the temperature of the incoming cold air.

The entire plant is operated by a complex, automated process control system, which measures the product temperature inside the roasting chamber at intervals of a second and fine-tunes the process in the presence of even the slightest changes. This produces maximum profile accuracy, which has a direct impact on the quality consistency of the coffee’s taste and on flexibility.

“This project stands to boost our competitiveness in the marketplace,” said Espen Gjerde, CEO of Joh. Johannson. “The system’s energy consumption, slashed to the absolute minimum, is not only extremely sustainable, but also makes sound business sense. In the processing industries, energy accounts for as much as 10% of the total cost. We are now the world’s sole producer that can offer its customers top-quality coffee that has been produced as environmental- and climate-friendly as possible, with excellent taste.”

Press release