Shell, bio-bean and coffee-drinkers collaborate to help power London’s buses

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Shell in collaboration with bio-bean announces an inititative to help power some of London’s buses by using a biofuel which is partly made 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[1].

“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. We’ve started in the UK, but imagine the potential of a country like India that drinks more than 13 billion cups of coffee a year. By rethinking our approach to waste, we can create smarter global cities and a brighter future for everyone.”

The average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day[2] which produces over 200,000 tonnes[3] of waste a year, much of which would otherwise end in landfill with the potential to emit 126million kg of CO2[4]. 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. 6,000 litres of coffee oil has 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[5].

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 help 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’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 bio-mass pellets and briquettes called Coffee Logs, before this latest biofuel innovation.

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