A young London based company named Bio-bean has started reusing old coffee grounds to create biofuel.

Due to coffee being the most loved drink on the planet it is only reasonable for there to be a mass amount of waste that comes with it but the way in which the coffee grounds are disposed of is neither sustainable nor resourceful but that is where Bio-bean have stepped in. Bio-bean have developed a 5 stage process that is creating a biofuel from ordinary coffee grounds consisting of them being refined, agitated and then dried out. After this a biochemical process is used to extract the high amount of oil contained within the grounds (around 20% of its weight) which is then produced into pellets known as “Hot Coffees” (shown above). The pellets can then be used in any biomass boiler, whether it be in a family home, airport, business etc. The oil that is found in the grounds is also used in other situations such as McDonalds using their cooking oil to fuel their vehicles.

This is such a great innovation for everyone involved as the normal businesses would normally have to pay to get rid of their used coffee grounds (through waste disposal) but by using Bio-Bean the grounds are collected for free by their own waste disposal trucks. What makes this even better is that these businesses can then purchase the Hot Coffees to heat their business which also creates a closed loop of supply and demand. Co founder of Bio-bean, Arthur Kay, has revealed that the pellets can be purchased in 1 tonne bags and will easily heat a house for a full year. There has been no specific information on the price of the pellets yet but they know that they will be cheaper than their wood subsidiaries.

However, the amount of pellets being produced in the UK is quite small (50,000 tonnes) compared to the amount of pellets actually being used in the UK (5 million tonnes) due to huge amounts of biofuel being imported from abroad. This makes Bio-beans work seem quite minor due to barely making an impression on the market. Arthur Kay is looking to revolutionise the way that conventional fuels are used and also how waste is disposed of. He adds “It is not about replacing the cup, for example. It is about saying this is a better, cleaner and cheaper cup.”

To add to this Bio-bean are also developing a new barbecue coal equivalent which will apparently heat up quicker that conventional coals and only contain a faint aroma but not of coffee. This product hasn’t been fully developed yet but they are looking to release them by the end of the year.

It’s great to see new companies trying to change the way in which the world deals with waste and we believe that Bio-Bean are taking a step in the right direction.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/14/the-innovators-how-your-coffee-can-light-up-your-barbecue-and-boiler