While coffee has been driving society’s productivity for years, it will now also help power London’s buses
While coffee has been driving society’s productivity for years, it will now also help power London’s iconic buses.
British startup Bio-bean has partnered with Shell and Argent Energy to create a coffee-based biofuel that will be used in London’s diesel buses.
It is estimated that Londoners drink more than 20 million cups of coffee a day, with 200,000 tonnes of grounds produced by the capital alone each year.
Consumption on such a scale brings with it a lot of waste, but Bio-bean’s solution is to convert that waste into productive use.
The company claims its factory can recycle 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year, creating a coffee- derived B20 biofuel on a scale large enough to help power some of London’s buses. The coffee is sourced through partnerships with cafes, restaurants and factories, and transported to Bio-bean’s recycling facility.
From this coffee, oil is extracted. Blended with other fats and oils to create a 20 per cent biocomponent, this is then mixed with mineral diesel to create a coffee- derived B20 biofuel, which can be used in diesel buses without modification.
“Our coffee logs have already become the fuel of choice for households looking for a high-performance, sustainable way to heat their homes — and now, with the support of Shell, bio-bean and Argent Energy have created thousands of litres of coffee- derived B20 biodiesel which will help power London buses for the first time,” Bio-bean founder Arthur Kay says.
“It’s a great example of what
can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource.”
The company says London produces enough waste coffee grounds to create a pure-blend B20 biofuel on a scale large enough to help fuel around a third of the London bus network.
Bio-bean has produced 6000 litres of coffee oil for the pilot project with London’s transportation authority, Transport for London, which is enough to help power the equivalent of one city bus for a year.
“When it comes to clean energy, we are always looking for the next inventive solution,” Shell UK country chair Sinead Lynch says. “A good idea can come from anywhere, but with the scale and commitment of Shell, we can help enable true progress.
“We’re pleased to be able to support Bio-bean to trial this innovative new energy solution which can help to power buses, keeping Londoners moving around the city – powered in part by their waste coffee grounds.”
“It’s a great example of what can be done when we reimagine waste as an untapped resource”
London reportedly produces enough waste coffee grounds to fuel a third of the city