Global oil and gas major, Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) is collaborating with LiveWIRE alumnus bio-bean and coffee-drinkers to power some of London’s buses using a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds. The B20 biodiesel fuel contains a 20 percent bio-component which contains part coffee oil. The biofuel is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain and will help to power some of the buses; without need for modification.
Founded in 2013, bio-bean Ltd is a UK-based company that has pioneered an industrial process to recycling waste coffee grounds into solid and liquid biofuels and biochemicals. In the latest chapter of Make the Future, Shell is collaborating with LiveWIRE alumnus bio-bean and coffee-drinkers to power some of London’s buses using a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds.
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 to power London’s buses for the first time. It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource. As a major city, London produces a lot of coffee waste. We turn this into useful, sustainable products. By rethinking our approach to waste, we can create smarter cities and a brighter future, said Arthur Kay, founder of bio-bean.
200 000 tonnes of coffee waste
According to Kay, 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 up in a landfill. 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. Six thousand 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.
This latest collaboration is part of Shell’s “#makethefuture” energy relay, which supports entrepreneurs turning bright energy innovations into a positive impact for communities around the world.
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 enable true progress. We’re pleased to be able to support bio-bean to trial this innovative new energy solution which can help to power buses, keeping Londoners moving around the city – powered in part by their waste coffee grounds, said Sinead Lynch, Shell UK Country Chair.
bio-bean founder Arthur Kay won Shell LiveWIRE UK’s Innovation Award in 2013 and the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Programme in 2012 with his ideas about turning coffee waste into fuel. bio-bean has since gone on to produce biomass pellets and briquettes called Coffee Logs, before this latest biofuel innovation.
About Shell LiveWIRE
Shell LiveWIRE is a Royal Dutch Shell Social Investment Programme, which enables young people to start their own business and create employment. It is designed to strengthen young people’s career options by enabling them to switch from being an employee to becoming an employer, or making the transition from seeking employment to creating employment.
The original Shell LiveWIRE programme was launched in 1982 in the Strathclyde region of Scotland in response to the region’s high level of youth unemployment. Shell LiveWIRE programmes are currently operating in 15 countries including Oman, Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Over 9.2 million young entrepreneurs have benefited from Shell LiveWIRE programmes since 1982.
Country programmes, which are based on the Shell LiveWIRE model, offer a targeted range of practical small business development support, designed to fit the local context. The Shell LiveWIRE model is comprised of five stages; Bright Ideas, Business Planning & Management Training, Business startup, Post start-up support, Performance Measurement & Refinement.