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The oil giant Shell is partnering with the biofuel firm bio-bean to begin powering some of London's buses with processed waste coffee grounds. To be more specific, some of London's buses will begin using a new biofuel dubbed "B20," which features a 20% bio-component containing part coffee oil. Importantly, the new biofuel can be used by the buses in use now as is — there's no need to modify the buses using the fuel in any way.

Biofuels

Shell & bio-bean Partnering To Power London Buses With Waste Coffee Grounds

The oil giant Shell is partnering with the biofuel firm bio-bean to begin powering some of London’s buses with processed waste coffee grounds.

To be more specific, some of London’s buses will begin using a new biofuel dubbed “B20,” which features a 20% bio-component containing part coffee oil. Importantly, the new biofuel can be used by the buses in use now as is — there’s no need to modify the buses using the fuel in any way.

The oil giant Shell is partnering with the biofuel firm bio-bean to begin powering some of London’s buses with processed waste coffee grounds.

To be more specific, some of London’s buses will begin using a new biofuel dubbed “B20,” which features a 20% bio-component containing part coffee oil. Importantly, the new biofuel can be used by the buses in use now as is — there’s no need to modify the buses using the fuel in any way.

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

The press release provides more: “The average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day which produces over 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, much of which would otherwise end in landfill with the potential to emit 126 million kg of CO2. 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.”

While it’s easy to view this new initiative simply as a PR exercise for Shell, there is indeed quite a lot of high-energy “waste” produced by coffee consumption that would otherwise simply be “wasted” (buried in some landfill somewhere). Using this “waste” to make biofuels (or even just as compost) makes a lot of sense.


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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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