London buses to be powered by coffee waste

Coffee oil-based biofuel to run London's buses

Given the tiny proportion of coffee-based oil in the bus fuel, there was no immediate, empirical indication that the noisome whiff of central London's air would turn into the alluring aroma of, say, a Roman cafe, or even a Starbucks.

Waste from cooking oil and animal fat is already being used to help power London diesel buses. The company collects waste from high street coffee shops, as well as instant coffee factories, and uses it to extract an oil.

Working with biofuel producer Argent Energy, the B20 biofuel contains a 20% bio-component and 80% cent traditional diesel. The London's buses will soon be powered by this biofuel.

The 6,000 litres of coffee oil produced in this project is enough to help power one bus for a year. Buses don't need to be modified either, keeping costs low.

The announcement said that by decreasing emissions, the new B20 biofuel supplies a cleaner and sustainable energy solution to buses.

Bio-bean has been using coffee to deliver energy for a short while now, giving households the ability to burn coffee instead of wood for their fires.

Londoners consume an estimated 20 million cups of coffee each day, which adds up to roughly 200,000 tons of coffee waste over the course of a year.

"A good idea can come from anywhere, but with the scale and commitment of Shell, we can help enable true progress", said Lynch in a company statement.

Currently, Bio-Bean has enough on hand (six thousand litres) to power one bus for a year, but access to raw material shouldn't be an issue once things get up and running. Founder Arthur Kay said it was a "great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource". "The company has since gone on to produce bio-mass pellets and briquettes called Coffee Logs, before this latest biofuel innovation".

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