Technology 3 min read

Coffee-Based Biofuel Now Being Used to Power London Buses

A British clean-tech startup called bio-bean is recycling spent coffee grounds from around London to create a biofuel that will power city buses.

Wikipedia Commons | commons.wikipedia.org

Wikipedia Commons | commons.wikipedia.org

Coffee-based biofuel is now powering some of the buses that roam London streets.

According to reports, this coffee-based biofuel is the brainchild of the British clean technology startup company, bio-bean. The company has entered into a partnership with Royal Dutch Shell and Argent Energy to create the said biofuel for diesel-powered buses.

Just recently, Transport for London, the local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London, England, announced their shift to biofuel in an effort to reduce emissions from vehicles. While many London buses already use biofuel to operate, this is the first time that coffee oil is used as a substitute for diesel.

@bio_bean_UK coffee-based biofuel now powers some of the buses in #London.Click To Tweet

On Monday, the coffee-based biofuel was officially added to the city’s public transport vehicles for the first time. Bio-bean founder Arthur Kay said in a statement:

“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource.”

How the Coffee-Based Biofuel Lessen London’s Pollution

For the pilot project, bio-bean produced 6,000 liters of coffee oil. The volume is said to be enough to power a city bus for a year.

According to bio-bean, an average Londoner drinks approximately 2.3 cups of coffee per day. That is equivalent to around 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. Instead of letting the waste be disposed of, the company collects the coffee grounds (coffee waste) from different city establishments such as coffee shops, offices, and factories.

The coffee wastes are then dried before coffee oil is extracted. After extraction, the coffee oil is then blended with other fuels to create the coffee-based biofuel called B20. The B20 biofuel can be used in buses without the need for any modification.

Based on estimates, the process of creating coffee-based biofuel helps save around 6.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions for every tonne of coffee grounds being recycled.

“B20 biodiesel offers a 10-15% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with traditional mineral diesel, while preventing waste coffee from being sent to landfill where it releases harmful methane,” bio-bean wrote in its website.

“The use of bio-bean’s coffee-derived biodiesel in London’s bus fleet has delivered bio-bean’s ambition to prove that London’s recycled coffee waste can make a significant and sustainable contribution to powering future transport systems.”

Aside from the coffee-based biofuel, bio-bean also makes Coffee Logs™ and Biomass Pellets. Coffee Logs™ are high-performance, sustainable briquettes also made from recycled coffee grounds for use in stoves, fires, and chimneys. On the other hand, Biomass Pellets are coffee pellets used for heating buildings and is considered a sustainable alternative to imported woody biomass.

Which do you think is a better alternative to diesel, electricity or recycled biofuel? Let us know your thoughts.

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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