Emissions control is an extremely important part of our business. In an environmentally conscious industry where organic coffees are increasing their market share, unclean air is just not an option.

We believe that controlling the emissions from our coffee roasting process is critical not only in protecting air quality, but in adhering to the various local, provincial and federal regulations that have been put into place to enforce air and water pollution control. We really do care about and respect our neighbours, the environment and the clean air on Bowen Island.

We run a thermal oxidizing catalyzer (afterburner) to ensure all the smoke from the roasting process is vaporized into only CO2 and clean water vapour. Our afterburner runs at almost 1400*F and destroys an amazing 99% of pollutants traditionally released into the environment during the roasting process. What we release the most of is CO2, which is produced by burning the propane that runs the afterburner. The amount is comparable to a home propane fireplace. Last year we actually burnt more propane at home with a propane stove and fireplace, than we did roasting coffee all last year.

The industry as a whole is striving toward carbon neutrality. The bean can be tracked from “cradle to gate” (farmers field to retail shelf). Each step along the way (including picking, sorting, shipping, ROASTING, cooling, shipping again, etc) is being counted and getting GHGs tracked (all Green House Gas emissions). More and more coffee associated businesses are purchasing Carbon Credits and investing in projects that really help the earth. We are currently tracking our outputs and are aiming toward operating a “carbon neutral” business in the near future.



Gino & Victoria Rutigliano

818 Gibsons Way (no mail)

Gibsons, BC  Canada


There are a lot of misconceptions about coffee roasting and the smell and pollutants associated with. We want to clear the air literally and educate people on the facts about our micro roastery on Bowen Island.

FACT:  YES,it’s true UNTREATED smoke from part of the coffee roasting process contains all kinds of nastyness! It is thick, noxious and smells bad!

•Gaseous pollutants are released by a number of different processes. The emissions are usually referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs and Particulate Matter or PM.

•VOCs are bad for the environment and PMs are bad for people.
VOCs & PMs consist of a numerous variety of compounds such as: alcohols, aldehydes, acetates, aromatics, esters, ketones & various other hydrocarbons which are comprised of carbon (C), oxygen (O), & hydrogen (H) atoms.

“The smoke is actually PM suspended. It’s little tiny chunks of stuff like coffee oils, tars, and bean fibers. And that’s what everyone worries about, because if you breathe those, they get into your lungs and they stick there.” says Shawn Hamilton, VP of operations and green coffee buyer for Java City.

That’s where oxidizers, commonly called afterburners and catalytic incinerators, come into play. An afterburner is a gas burner chamber that uses high heat to break down the odour and smoke and convert it into water vapour and carbon dioxide. “Basically, it burns those particulates into nothing, or at least makes them so small that they’re beyond the scope of what the air quality management district looks for,” says Hamilton.

FACT:  by using an afterburner, an amazing 99+% of VOCs & PMs are destroyed and NOT released into the atmosphere.

For more about our afterburner, visit the manufacturers website at:


or our website at:    http://www.bowencoffee.ca/aboutus.html

Fact:  We have invested heavily into our coffee roasting business to include an afterburner which insures that not only the smoke from the roasting process is gone but also the smell.

FACT: Both the roaster and the afterburner run on propane. CO2 is a by-product of propane combustion, therefore CO2 release is unavoidable. The process gives off around 2.2kg of CO2 per roast (with NO PMs released). This is LESS THAN A CAR burning 1L of fuel. 10 minutes of idling can use 1/5 – 3/5 L of fuel (depending on engine size).

FACT: Our roasting process only produces smoke during the last few minutes of the roasting cycle, which is then cleanly oxidized before it is released. We can roast 3-4 batches an hour. We are currently roasting approximately 2-4 hours per week.

How many hours at a time does a wood burning fireplace smoke? (huge polluters of VOC & PM).

How many minutes of idling time is exhausted by parents (who are the worst idlers of all) EVERY DAY dropping off kids at daycare, dance or school?

If you have concern about our emissions, please contact us directly @ 604-916-0848.

General facts about Bowen Island Coffee Roasting Process

• The Ambex coffee roaster we use is basically an electrically powered rotating drum (where the beans cook) heated by 2 BBQ type propane burners. The drum spins, the small propane burners turn on and off keeping the bean temperature under control.

• In the last minute of the roast the beans begin to smoke and are immediately released into the cooling tray. The tray has a suction fan underneath that directs all the smoke the beans are releasing into the pipes to the afterburner which then gets heated to 1400*F, which burns the harmful smoke to a clean vapour.

• We micro roast in small batches which take about 15-20 minutes roasting time per 12kg batch. Of the 15 minutes roasting time, LESS THAN 3 MINUTES at the very end of the cycle do the beans actually PRODUCE SMOKE to be oxidized through the afterburner. The lighter the roast, like our Mr. Gardner Breakfast Blend, the less smoke is produced.

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