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CONFIRMED: Air-Roasting has Super-Low Emissions

Updated: May 11

You can now enjoy a cup of coffee with a good conscience too ;)
Coffee roaster, air-roasted coffee, love coffee, warm coffee, coffee

Throughout this journey of developing the Air-Motion Coffee Roaster and Air-Roasting coffee beans, we had a good idea of the eco-friendly practicalities linked to roasting coffee with hot air, however, what we have encountered is beyond our wildest dreams.

It's a Team Effort

Internationally, not only is it a hot topic right now, but the reality we face due to the amounts of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere is of real concern to the world and has become a major priority to address amongst all forward-thinking countries. With this in mind, we knew that developing a coffee roaster with enhanced eco-friendly roasting capabilities would be essential.

What Makes Air-Roasting with the Air-Motion Coffee Roaster, Different?

Using a roast chamber, the beans are suspended on a bed of hot air in a vortex, while the cyclone extraction system immediately begins to remove excess dust, smoke, and chaff from the beans at the start of the roast and throughout.

3kg Air-Motion Coffee Roaster, 6kg Air-Motion Coffee, air roasting, fluid bed roastingRoaster
(Left): 3kg Air-Motion Roaster. (Right): 6kg Air-Motion Roaster

The excess dust, smoke, and chaff extracted from the coffee beans are deposited straight into the Chaff Collector, located at the base of the Cyclone, allowing the remaining “clean” air to be exhausted into the atmosphere, via the extraction ducting system.

I must point out my garden just loves the excess chaff extracted from the coffee beans during the roast. The Cyclone Extraction System also does an excellent job at collecting loads of it!

Due to the Air-Motion’s Design, there is No Need for an Afterburner

What is an Afterburner?

At its core, an afterburner uses high temperature and combustion during the roasting process to create a cleaner emission and remove unpleasant odours.

Traditional roasters cause a combination of emissions that could not only negatively affect neighbouring businesses but are also harmful to the environment. Because of this, traditional roasters should have an afterburner installed, although, in some countries, it is a regulation.

Now even though an afterburner serves a great purpose, it comes with a price tag and it is also just another ‘thing’ to worry about.

Fortunately, the Air-Motion range, including the 3kg, 6kg, and 12kg Coffee Roasters, do not require an afterburner.

The risk of harming the environment is not a concern with the Air-Motion Coffee Roaster.

In fact, we have come to the conclusion that the delicious and delectable smells that pass through the ducting system of the Air-Motion, are not only harmless to the environment - but they are also captivating for my senses.

Design Elements Complementing Low Emissions on the Air-Motion Roasters

No gas required:

  • The use of gas is considered hazardous in many cases.

  • The Air-Motion roaster uses electricity instead of the conventional combustion of hydrocarbon-rich fuel for heat generation.

Immediate heat response:

  • Roasts can commence as soon as the machine is switched on which minimizes time and energy wastage.

Cyclone extraction System:

  • The Cyclone Extraction System removes all the unwanted fragments from the beans during the roast but separates the fragments before exhausting the 'clean' air into the atmosphere, via the extraction ducting system.

Less Energy Required per Roast:

  • Using Air-Motion one may expect to spend approximately 50% less energy per roast, than a traditional roaster.

The Results Speak for Themselves:

  • Images below include extraction ducting from the Air-Motion Coffee Roaster as well as a traditional coffee roasting system:

(Left): ducting after 1 year of use on the Air-Motion. (Right): Ducting used on a traditional roaster

It Was Now Time to Verify Our Assumptions Through a Trusted 3rd Party

Pleased with our design, we acknowledged that it would be essential to have a proper emissions test conducted to prove our assumptions.

After conducting research into various organisations, we came across Skyside, a well-respected and internationally recognized organization, for who we chose to run the emissions test analysis on the Air-Motion Coffee Roasting machine.

Going into the experiment, we were slightly unsure what the results might be as this was the first time ever testing the Air-Motion.

Fortunately, We Were Blown Away By the Results!

After the first round of tests, Skyside declared they may have made a mistake because the emissions were showing surprisingly low, in fact, well below what they expected for a commercial coffee roasting system.

Because of this confusion, Skyside requested they run another round of tests, but at their own expense.

We must add that these tests are not cheap, in fact, using a trusted organization such as Skyside comes with a hefty cost, so we were pleased they were willing to conduct an entirely new test at no cost to us.

After the second round of tests, Skyside emissions were amazed to see the results of the new analysis returning even better results than the first test, confirming that their original analysis was accurate.

low emissions test for air coffee roaster
After the test, the emissions test kit seemed as if it were still unused.

Skyside came to the following conclusion:

"Overall, the emission tests conducted under normal roasting conditions

indicated what would be considered to be relatively low concentrations of

pollutants emitted to the atmosphere, certainly below the limits specified for

comparable processes. We recommend that operators compare these results

against local requirements.

Key considerations:

  1. The Air-Motion roaster has an extraction fan and cyclone which continuously removes chaff during the roasting process, separating it from the gas stream before exhausting into the atmosphere: therefore, low total dust concentrations are expected.

  2. The Air-Motion roaster uses electricity instead of the conventional combustion of hydrocarbon-rich fuel for heat generation, therefore the low concentration of combustion gases directly emitted from the roaster is also expected.

  3. Given the low roasting capacity of the Air-Motion roaster, as well as the use of electricity instead of a hydrocarbon-rich fuel, one would expect low VOC emissions from the roaster. Ambient air is used for cooling and diluting the exiting gas prior to exhausting to atmosphere.”

See the full SKYSIDE report here

We are very optimistic about the future for Air-Roasting and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our technology and to further enhance our low emission output.

Please join us for a coffee. We would love to hear from you! Visit our Contact Us page to get in touch :)

My best,

Andrew B

Air-Motion Team Member and Coffee Enthusiast

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