Shell and London-based clean technology company bio-bean have partnered to power some of London’s iconic red buses using a biofuel made partly from used 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 any modification.
“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 power London 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.”
The average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day. This produces over 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, according to bio-bean. The company works to collect some of these waste coffee grounds from coffee shops across the UK such as Costa Coffee and Caffe Nero.
The grounds are dried and processed before coffee oil is extracted. Argent Energy has partnered with bio-bean to process this oil into a blended B20 biofuel.
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, “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’s Innovation Award in 2013 and the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme in 2012 with his ideas about turning coffee waste into fuel.