Full of beans: coffee grounds to help power London's buses

Transport for London has been turning to biofuels to curb carbon emissions

London buses are being powered by coffee oil.

London buses are being powered by coffee oil.

 

Waste coffee grounds will be used to help fuel some of London’s buses, Royal Dutch Shell and clean technology company bio-bean said on Monday.

A new biofuel, which contains part coffee oil, is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain where it can be used without the need for modification, the companies said in a statement.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times. You will find food-related content in all of our sections, plus reader events, competitions and lots of exclusive content at irishtimes.com/food
November is Food Month in The Irish Times. You will find food-related content in all of our sections, plus reader events, competitions and lots of exclusive content at irishtimes.com/food

Bio-bean and partner Argent Energy have so far produced enough coffee oil to power one bus for a year, if used as a pure-blend for the 20 percent bio component and mixed with mineral diesel to form a B20 fuel, they said.

Transport for London has been turning to biofuels to curb carbon emissions, trialling a fuel made with used cooking oil from the catering industry, the transport operator said on its website.

Bio-bean said the average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day, producing over 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. It collects waste grounds from high street chains and factories, which are dried and processed to extract coffee oil.

“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource,” bio-bean founder Arthur Kay said.

The coffee fuel technology has been supported by Shell.

- Reuters

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