London buses to be powered by coffee grounds

Coffee oil-based biofuel to run London's buses

The B20 biofuel, which contains a 20 percent bio-component that has part coffee oil, is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain and will help run some of the vehicles in the network, without need for modification.

Worldwide energy and petrochemicals group Shell, in partnership with London-based clean technology company bio-bean and United Kingdom 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.

Bio-bean said there is "no formal agreement" to continue using its coffee oil in London, but it hopes to quickly find new markets and applications. The company takes the used grounds from coffee shops and instant coffee factories, and extracts oil from it in its factory.

On average, Londoners consume 2.3 cups of coffee a day, contributing to 200,000 tons of coffee waste over the course of a year, according to The Daily Star.

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There is no formal agreement in place between Transport for London and Bio-Bean to continue using the fuel source in the long term.

The project, which is in collaboration with Shell and Argent Energy, makes the biofuel through blending fats and oils, producing 20% biocomponent, which is then mixed with mineral diesel.

According to the Bio-Bean website, coffee grounds are a logical ingredient to create fuels. About 6000 litres of coffee oil have been produced - which can power one diesel bus in London for a year. A good idea can come from anywhere, but with the scale and commitment of Shell, we can help enable true progress.

In fact, if everyone in London just drank a mere 12 cups of coffee a day, we'd be able to power every single bus in London for a year. Bio-Bean is also targeting the U.S. for its coffee-fused fuel source.

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