Innovation That Matters

London's used coffee beans power buildings and transport

Food & Drink

Bio-Bean are a UK based start-up turning the used beans from London's many coffee shops into green energy.

Among the many alternatives, energy produced from waste products remains one of the most ecologically sound methods for creating power. We have already seen used ground coffee converted into fertilizer by Espressogrow, and now Bio-Bean are a UK based start-up turning the used beans from London’s many coffee shops into green energy.

In London alone, coffee shops and instant coffee factories produce over 200,000 tonnes of coffee waste per year. Bio-Bean collects these waste coffee grounds from coffee shops, roasteries and freeze-dried coffee facilities and transport them to their local processing plant, where they can be recycled and turned into biofuel. The process is far more ecologically sound than other traditional disposal procedures, such as dumping the ground in landfill, which releases harmful green house gases into the atmosphere.

Bio-Bean process the waste into two advanced carbon-neutral Biofuel products — biomass pellets and biodiesel — which they sell to London businesses to power buildings and transport, reducing landfill waste, fossil fuels and methane production. The products are carbon-neutral because they make use of an existing source material, as opposed to biofuel produced from crops such as corn ethanol, which take away land from food production.

Converting ground coffee beans into energy isn’t an entirely new idea, but the scale of the operation means it could have a far greater impact than earlier schemes. Are there other waste products created in the food industry which could be recycled by other businesses?



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