Bio-bean, an entrepreneurial company founded in 2013, has collaborated with Royal Dutch Shell and Argent Energy to transform waste coffee grounds into an oil that can be combined with diesel to produce a B20 biofuel. The company can currently recycle 50,000 tons of waste coffee a year, collecting wastes from coffee factories and coffee shops. The extracted oil can be used as a pure-blend to mix with diesel to form a B20 fuel, or it can be mixed with other fats and oils to make up the 20% bio-component.
While England has been known for its fondness of tea, the average Londoner consumes 2.3 cups of coffee a day, adding over 200,000 tons of coffee waste a year. The first batch of about 1,580 gallons of coffee oil can power one bus for a year, according to the company. “It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to re-imagine waste as an untapped source,” Arthur Kay, bio-bean founder stated.
This new biofuel is helping to reduce pollution in the city, helping to meet the goal of a zero emission transport system by 2050. Buses running on a biodiesel blend produce 15% fewer carbon emissions than ordinary diesel-powered buses. Of the 8,600 buses operated by Transport for London, the company is working to bring about 3,000 Ultra Low Emission double-deck buses to by 2019, and over 250 Zero emission single-deck buses by 2020. About 1/3 of the 8,600 buses are diesel-electric hybrids.