Shell, bio-bean and coffee-drinkers collaborate to help power London’s buses
Nov 16, 2017
In the latest chapter of Make the Future, Shell is collaborating with LiveWIRE alumnus bio-bean and coffee-drinkers to power some of London’s buses using a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds.
The B20 biofuel contains a 20% bio-component which contains part coffee oil. The biofuel is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain and will help to power some of the buses; without need for modification.
Biofuel provides a cleaner, more sustainable energy solution for buses across London’s network by decreasing emissions.
“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 to power London’s buses for the first time,” said bio-bean’s founder Arthur Kay.
“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource. As a major city, London produces a lot of coffee waste. We turn this into useful, sustainable products. By rethinking our approach to waste, we can create smarter cities and a brighter future.”
The average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day which produces over 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, much of which would otherwise end up in landfill, with the potential to emit 126m kg of CO2. bio-bean works to collect some of these waste coffee grounds from high street chains and factories.
The grounds are dried and processed before coffee oil is extracted. bio-bean works with its fuel partner Argent Energy to process this oil into a blended B20 biofuel. Six thousand 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, could help power the equivalent of one London bus for a year.
This latest collaboration is part of Shell’s #makethefuture energy relay, which supports entrepreneurs turning bright energy innovations into a positive impact for communities around the world.
Sinead Lynch, Shell UK Country Chair, said, “When it comes to clean energy, we are always looking for the next inventive solution. A good idea can come from anywhere, but with the scale and commitment of Shell, we can 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.”
bio-bean founder Arthur Kay won Shell LiveWIRE UK’s Innovation Award in 2013 and the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme in 2012 with his ideas about turning coffee waste into fuel. bio-bean has since gone on to produce biomass pellets and briquettes called Coffee Logs, before this latest biofuel innovation.