(Truth Theory) Very soon, London’s diesel buses may be fueled by a coffee-based biofuel. The development is a result of British startup bio-bean partnering with Shell and Argent Energy to make the city’s public transit more eco-friendly.
The company has been working with London’s transpiration authority for the project. So far, 6,000 liters of coffee oil has been produced for the experiment. That’s enough to power one city bus for an entire year! Said Arthur Kay, the founder of bio-bean, in a statement:
“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource.”
Bio-bean estimates that every year, Britain produces 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds. Most of that is discarded in landfills, where it emits harmful greenhouse gases. By repurposing the grounds, the company is doing its part to reduce carbon emissions and, as a result, prevent climate change from worsening.
How is the coffee-based biofuel made?
The startup begins by collecting used coffee grounds from local cafes, restaurants and factories. Employees than transport the grounds to the bio-bean recycling facility, where they are ground up and dried before the coffee oil is extracted.
As CNN reports, coffee oil is blended with other fuels to create B20 biofuel, which is suitable to be used in diesel buses without modification. “Spent coffee grounds are highly calorific and contain valuable compounds, making them an ideal feedstock from which to produce clean fuels,” the company explains on its website.
The company also sells “coffee logs,” which can be used in fireplaces and stoves. Reportedly, they work just as well — if not better — than wooden logs.
While there is no “formal agreement” as of yet, bio-bean hopes all London buses will run on the stuff in the near future. Meanwhile, the company is also looking for new markets and applications. The company said in a statement:
“There is huge potential for this project to expand in the U.S., which drinks the most coffee on the planet, 400 million cups of per day.”