RECYCLED COFFEE GROUND ENERGY FOR LONDON’S BUSES.
A London-based company has partnered with Shell to turn the leftovers from cups of coffee into biofuel to help run the English capital's expansive bus network.
Bio-bean has been recycling coffee for a few years now, heating homes and buildings with what it calls Coffee Logs – burnable briquettes made of old grounds rather than wood.
Coffee-based biofuels have always been a goal too, and now, with the backing of Shell and the fuel blending company Argent Energy, Bio-bean is producing a biodiesel as well as the infrastructure to obtain the otherwise-wasted grounds from around London.
The companies call the fuel a "B20" blend, and it's made by first extracting oils from discarded coffee grounds. These are mixed with other fats and oils and then blended again with mineral diesel to create a fuel with a 20 percent biocomponent. When this biodiesel is fed into London's buses, it should reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 10 to 15 percent. On top of that, Bio-bean says its facility can process some 50,000 tonnes of coffee grounds every year, which is about a quarter of London's annual coffee grounds waste.
This first stage of the project is set to produce 6,000 L (1,585 gallons) of coffee oil for use in selected London buses. In later stages the companies plan to produce a "pure-blend" that does away with the other fats and oils currently added to the mix.