London Bus Powered By Coffee Could Be Your Next Stop

Eco-friendly company creates bio-diesel from coffee that could power public transport in the nation’s capital

Coffee is a plentiful, high energy, resource

A London bus powered by bio-diesel produced from spent coffee grounds sourced at coffee shops, transport hubs, offices and factories is to be revealed soon, rumours suggest. Bio-Bean – an eco-friendly company - produces a range of fuels from this high energy, renewable, resource to sooth your environmental conscience. 

The United Kingdom produces five-hundred thousand tonnes of coffee grounds per-annum. There is a fashionable coffee shop culture, after all. One tonne produces enough fuel to run a bus for a day. Despite this, most is sent to landfill where it emits methane - a greenhouse gas twenty-eight times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Coffee collection and recycling

Bio-Bean, therefore, launched a nationwide collection service and opened a recycling factory in 2015. It can now process fifty-thousand tonnes of grounds per-annum which is equivalent to one in ten cups consumed in The United Kingdom. Exactly how it might produce bio-diesel is a secret but the company revealed some clues. 

Arthur Kay, Bio-Bean Co-Founder, revealed: “Imagine you have a pile of coffee grounds. You dry them - then we have the patent for the bit in the middle that allows us to extract oil. It's a biochemical process, a solvent that you evaporate through what's called hexane extraction. By weight it is about 15-20% oil”, Arthur Kay revealed.

Benefits of bio-diesel

Typical benefits of bio-diesel include:

  • Produced without crude oil which is a limited resource
  • Produces less pollution when burned
  • Renewable energy source
  • Suits existing diesel engines with little/no modification
  • Reduced dependency on foreign oil
  • More socially responsible

World evolving to embrace new fuels

"We are going through a period of energy divergence where we are moving from a fossil-fuel based society to one that is increasingly diversified. Bio-fuel will be crucial to that. As long as people are still drinking coffee there will be coffee waste”, Mr Kay said.

Additional products

Bio-Bean produces other eco-friendly, lifestyle enhancing, fuels. It's Coffee Log (briquette) is carbon neutral and suitable for stoves, chimneys and open fires. It burns hotter and longer than wood, the company claimed. Its biomass Pellet, in contrast, heats buildings and is an alternative to imported woody biomass products. 

Mr Kay suggested that society has to reconsider its definition of waste. He said: “Waste is just a mentality, because the legal definition of waste is something that is discarded or thrown away. Waste is whatever people want it to be. If we stopped using gold for currency and jewellery and threw it away - it would be waste.”