DEMB: Innovative Drying System, Using Spent Coffee Ground as Energy Source

Veollia has developed the world’s first drying system for Dutch coffee roaster Douwe Egberts Master Blenders (DEMB).
Before the Veolia project, our two main energy sources were natural gas and coffee grounds on a small scale. Veolia has helped us save on natural gas by using more grounds. This has led to savings of between €1 and €2 million.
Wiebe Jongsma
DEMB Technical Director for the Joure plant in the Netherlands

70% Carbon Footprint Reduction

14,000 metric tons reduction in annual CO2 emissions from the plant

Spent Coffee Ground As New Energy Source

33,000 t/y of spent coffee grounds used as an energy source

The Challenge

At its Joure plant in the Netherlands, DEMB (formerly Sara Lee) was looking to reduce the cost of producing the vast quantities of steam needed to make instant coffee and liqueurs. Veolia set out to develop a cost-effective solution to support the plant's increasing production capacity while reducing its carbon footprint and meeting the critical challenge of recycling by-products from the production process.


Veolia's Solution

Innovative drying and combustion system

Following an in-depth study, Veolia developed an unparalleled, innovative drying and combustion system in which spent coffee grounds from the plant's processes are burned in a biomass boiler to produce steam. Veolia was also contracted to provide comprehensive technical management of industrial utilities including steam, compressed air and cold water in partnership with Veolia Water for wastewater treatment.

Benefits for our client

  • Lower energy bills and production costs
  • Recovery of a by-product from the production process
  • Reliable industrial utilities

Our  Solutions in Energy, Water and Waste



Veolia is uniquely positioned to service industry, government and commercial entities in improving performance, managing water, waste and energy.

Learn how

Veolia has significantly improved Danone's waste-recycling capabilities through a tailored solution for soiled packaging.