A tech company hopes to reduce waste and create clean energy.
It can be difficult to get out of bed in the morning without the promise of a hot cup of coffee to help stimulate the day’s activities.
But starting next Monday, it could be same way for a public buses in London, which are set to begin running on a mix of diesel and oil extracted from coffee grounds.
Clean technology company bio-bean created this blend of biofuel after years of research and development into the potential uses of spent coffee grounds. Since its founding in 2013 the organization has been finding innovative ways to turn this coffee waste into viable sources of energy.
So far, their website offers Coffee Logs and Coffee Pellets — two household products made from entirely recycled coffee grounds that were collected by bio-bean in partnership with local businesses. Part of the aim of the company is not just to create new fuels, but also to reduce the amount of coffee product that ends up wasted.
Coffee, it turns out, is a generally wasteful product. Besides the massive amount of packaging and holiday cups associated with the consumption of the black stuff, in the UK alone it’s reported that over 500,000 tons of coffee grounds are disposed of in landfills each year.
Moreover, as coffee grounds decompose they produce a huge amount of methane, a chemical that is known to contribute to global warming.
bio-bean wants to use this excess as an opportunity, using the latent energy of the grounds for a productive purpose that keeps them out of landfills — and instead powering our cars and stoves.
“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource,” said bio-bean’s founder Arthur Kay in a statement.
To achieve the visions outlined in the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development,
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So far, bio-bean has reported that they have collected and refined enough grounds to create about 6,000 liters of biofuel, which is just about enough to power one city bus for about a year. Plans to scale their operation are currently underway.
In the meantime, Londoners are preparing themselves for a cleaner source of fuel, and, potentially, passive aggressive comments from buses on mornings when they miss out on their morning joe.