London Buses Are Set to Run on Nothing But Coffee Fuel
With the aim of cleaning London’s killer air, green entrepreneur Arthur Kay wants London buses to run on nothing but fuel generated by coffee waste, and he has come up with an innovative way to put his ideas into action.
Who is Arthur Kay?
Arthur Kay is the owner of Bio-bean, an award winning company which produces renewable energy from waste coffee grounds by turning them into biofuels and biochemicals. Kay previously signed a contract with Costa Coffee, whereby around 800 of their coffee shops’ waste throughout the UK would be sent directly to the Bio-bean recycling factory to produce fuel and power.
Bio-bean is set to demonstrate their very own coffee-fueled bus in the capital within the next few weeks which, if deemed successful, could help lead the way to cleaning London’s severely polluted air.
The UK consumes around 70 million cups of coffee each year, producing 500,000 tonnes of waste which costs coffee chains such as Café Nero and Starbucks over £80m to dispose of manually. If Bio-bean could use all of this waste, they could generate enough energy to power an entire city or hundreds of buses throughout the UK.
How is Coffee Fuel Created?
Typically, biofuel is created from ethanol but, as sugar canes, corn and rape-seed are natural food sources, concerns started arising in the 1990s stating that this was unsustainable. Therefore, coffee waste may save the day.
Creating fuel from coffee grounds is also not as unrealistic as many people first thought, in fact it is produced through a biochemical method where oil is extracted from a pile of coffee grounds. There, the coffee grounds are evaporated by treating them with a low boiler solvent.
This process can extract up to 20% of oil with the remaining mass transformed into biomass pellets which can be burnt as fuel in wood burners.
Reducing Greenhouse Emissions
For now, we will have to wait and see how Bio-bean’s unveiling of its all new, innovative coffee-fueled bus pans out, but, if successful, we could be on the way to not only lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the capital, but also throughout the entirety of the UK and, who knows, almost all of our energy could come from coffee grounds.
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