Published: Tue, November 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

London buses now being powered by leftover coffee

London buses now being powered by leftover coffee

Transport for London (TfL) has increasingly turned to using biofuels to reduce transport emissions.

Biofuels produced from cooking oil and tallow from meat processing already powers some of London's 9,500 buses, according to the BBC.

To combat this, bio-bean has started working with high-street chains and factories in an effort to collect their waste coffee grounds and start putting it to better use.

The B20 biofuel contains a 20 per cent bio-component which contains part coffee oil. Given London mayor Sadiq Khan's recent declaration that all new single-decker buses in London will run on zero-emission fuels starting next year, coffee-powered B20 looks to be a suitable complement to the electronic buses the city plans to purchase in the months and years ahead.

Biofuel provides a cleaner, more sustainable energy solution for buses across London's network by decreasing emissions1.

"It's a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource", bio-bean founder Arthur Kay said.

However, the release also claimed that this would be the first time a coffee-derived biofuel has been added to the London's public transport system.

Shell supports the trial as part of its #makethefuture energy relay. Coffee-based oil does have a strong smell of coffee, Bio-bean said, "but once it is processed, distilled, blended and mixed with mineral diesel, that odor is removed".

With the average Londoner drinking 2.3 cups of coffee a day, more than 200,000 tonnes of waste is produced that would otherwise end up in landfill.

Shell Singapore said, "The technology holds much potential for heavily motorised countries". "The company has since gone on to produce bio-mass pellets and briquettes called Coffee Logs, before this latest biofuel innovation".

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