Biofuel made from waste coffee grounds to power London buses from today

Biofuel company bio-bean and petrol firm Shell have teamed up to produce a biofuel made from waste coffee grounds for some of Transport for London’s huge fleet buses.

Biofuel made from waste coffee grounds to power London buses from today
The B20 (a biofuel blend) biofuel contains a 20 per cent bio-component, partly made up of coffee oil, and can be incorporated into the London bus fuel supply chain without the need for modifications to any of the buses.

There is certainly a steady supply of waste coffee in London, with the average Londoner drinking 2.3 cups of coffee a day, producing more than 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. Bio-bean collects some of the waste coffee grounds left behind from high street chains, such as Caffe Nero, and factories and saves them from going to landfill, a waste stream that has the potential to emit 126 million kilogrammes of C02.

Working in collaboration with its fuel partner Argent Energy, the coffee grounds are dried and processed prior to the extraction of the coffee oil, which is then blended into a B20 biofuel. So far, 6,000 litres of coffee oil have been produced, which if used as a pure-blend for the bio component and mixed with mineral diesel to form a B20 biofuel, could help power the equivalent of one London bus for a year.

Bio-bean’s innovation is being supported by Shell as part of the petrol firm’s #makethefuture energy relay, which supports entrepreneurs turning promising energy projects into positive impacts for communities around the world.

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bio-bean collects used coffee grounds and reprocesses them at its Cambridgeshire facility
The company’s founder Arthur Kay, who previously won Shell LiveWIRE’s Innovation Award in 2013 as well as the Mayor of London’s Entrepreneur Programme in 2012, said of the announcement: “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. It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource.”

Bio-bean has already made strides in producing energy from coffee waste with its Coffee Logs - biomass pellets and briquettes that can be burned for fuel. The coffee logs are made from waste coffee grounds that are then processed at bio-bean’s reprocessing facility in Cambridgeshire and turned into Coffee Logs.

More information about bio-bean can be found in Resource’s interview with Arthur Kay from Resource 84.

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