London buses to be fuelled by coffee waste

London’s double decker buses are iconic and now they are set to add more green credentials to their legacy with the introduction of waste coffee grounds being used to help power some of the capital’s buses.

A biofuel created by blending oil extracted from coffee waste with diesel has been added to the public transport fuel supply, and will begin to power some of London’s buses from tomorrow.

Clean technology company, Bio-bean has partnered with Shell and Argent Energy to create this new biofuel, which contains part coffee oil, for the London bus fuel supply chain — where it can be used without the need for modification.

Bio-bean, which recycles ground coffee, said it has produced enough coffee oil to run one bus in the capital for a year.

Bio-bean’s plant can recycle 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee a year. The company collects waste from high street coffee shops, as well as instant coffee factories, and uses it to extract an oil. This is then mixed with other fats and oils to create a 20% biocomponent of B20 fuel.

Londoners create 200,000 tonnes of waste from coffee every year, according to research. Bio-bean say it would take just over 2.55 million cups of coffee – blended with diesel – to run one of London’s buses for a year.

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

Fuels like Bio-bean will provide a greener alternative as London continues to introduce greener methods of transport.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that from 2018, all new single-decker buses in the centre of the city will be zero-emission, helped by a sizeable fleet of hybrid electric buses. However, the end goal is to have a zero-emission transport system by 2050.


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea


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