Monday, July 13News For London

London buses to be run by coffee to reduce pollution

Coffee has many uses. People drink it to wake up in the morning, and now it is going to be used to fuel buses in London as of today, 20 November.

Shell and bio-bean announced that together they are helping to power some of London’s buses using a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds.

The B20 biofuel contains a 20 per cent bio-component which is partly coffee oil. It is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain and will help to power some of the buses.


6,000 litres of coffee oil can help power the equivalent of one London bus for a year. (Photo: Shell and bio-bean 2017 – Ed Robinson/Shell)


Biofuel provides a cleaner, more sustainable energy solution for buses across London’s network by decreasing emissions, according to TFL.

“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 power London buses for the first time,” said bio-bean’s founder, Arthur Kay.

“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource,” he said. “As a major city, London produces a lot of coffee waste. We turn it into useful, sustainable products. By rethinking our approach to waste, we can create smarter cities and a brighter future.”

The average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day according to Tassimo which produces over 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, much of which would otherwise end in landfill. Bio-bean works to collect some of these waste coffee grounds from high street chains and factories such as Costa.

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. 6,000 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 according to TfL.

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.

Innovative Sustainable Solutions

In 2014, Make the Future showcased Pavegen’s innovative kinetic tiles which convert player’s footsteps into energy for lighting football pitches in Rio’s Morro de Mineira favela and Lagos Nigeria. An energy relay began in Kenya, where Shell supported the launch of GravityLight, an invention which brings clean light to off-grid Kenyan homes.

This was followed by an initiative in Brazil, where Shell helped Insolar bring affordable solar solutions to communities in need in Rio.

Bio-bean’s Coffee Logs are an alternative solid fuel for stoves, wood-burners and open fires. Made from recycled waste coffee grounds, they burn hotter and for longer than wood and are available in supermarkets, garden centres and garage forecourts across the UK.


(Sub: Alice Facchini)