Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Green energy provider

Emily Benson's picture

Bio-bean is a green enterprise turning coffee grounds into fuel.

Using waste coffee grounds to make biomass pellets and biodiesel occurred to Arthur Kay when he was studying architecture at UCL in 2012. Tasked with looking at closed loop waste-to-energy systems for buildings, he happened to choose a coffee shop. But when he discovered the oil content in coffee and the sheer amount of waste produced – 200,000 tonnes a year in London alone – he left his architecture degree behind and set about forming a company called Bio-bean.

Bio-Bean has a patented technique to process waste coffee grounds, discarded by coffee shops, roasters and instant coffee producers, into biodiesel and biomass pellets. bio-bean sells biomass pellets and biodiesel for heating and transport. bio-bean processes waste coffee grounds into fuel; thus bio-bean is at the forefront of this fast growing industry targeting and recycling waste materials.

Bio-bean aims to answer a pressing need for cheap, green energy - namely biodiesel and biomass pellets – providing a tangible economic and environmental benefits. A 21st century lifestyle has created an issue of waste disposal, and, through collecting and recycling used coffee grounds, bio-bean diverts millions of tonnes from landfill, saving companies £5m per annum and the environment 100,000 of tonnes in methane degradation. The process is simple: bio-bean collects used coffee grounds from in and around London. Every day 132,000 kgs. of used coffee grounds, from coffee shops in London, are deposited in landfills. Bio-bean plans on operating within the concept of a ‘cradle to cradle’ business model.

Bio-Bean plans include a pickup service for London’s coffeehouses and roasters, that will then allow it to extract the oils from the grounds, convert them to biodiesel, and then produce burnable pellets with the remainder of the bean. Both products can be easily used in the U.K., since London’s buses all run on biodiesel and the pellets can be used for heating fuel.

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