International energy and petrochemicals group Shell, in partnership with London-based clean technology company bio-bean and UK biodiesel producer Argent Energy, is helping power some of London’s buses through a new coffee biodiesel project – launched on Monday – which uses a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds.
The fuel, known as B20 biofuel, provides a cleaner, more sustainable energy solution for buses across London’s network by decreasing emissions. Containing a 20% bio-component that partly comprises coffee oil, the biofuel has been added to the London bus fuel supply chain and, from this week, is helping to power some of the city’s buses, without the need for modification.
Bio-bean founder Arthur Kay enthuses that this innovative way of powering public transportation is essential to curbing emissions.
“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource. We have started in the UK, but imagine the potential of a country like South Africa, that drinks more than three-billion cups of coffee a year. By rethinking our approach to waste, we can create smarter global cities and a brighter future for everyone,” Kay explains.
He adds that bio-bean’s coffee logs, which are eco heat logs made from spent coffee grounds to be used for stoves, open fires and chimneys, have already become the fuel of choice for households looking for a high-performance, sustainable way to heat their homes.
To create the fuel, coffee grounds are dried and processed before coffee oil is extracted. Bio-bean and fuel partner Argent Energy processes this oil into a blended B20 biofuel. So far, 6 000 ℓ 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.
Shell’s collaboration with bio-bean and Argent Energy is part of Shell’s #makethefuture energy relay, which supports entrepreneurs by turning energy innovations into a positive impact for communities worldwide.
Shell UK country chair Sinead Lynch explains the inspiration for the company’s campaign. “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.”