Coffee to help power London buses starting Monday

Coffee oil-based biofuel to run London's buses

The B20 biofuel, which uses a 20 per cent bio-component containing coffee oil, is to be added to the London bus fuel supply chain, the two firms said. Seeing as I'm already on my third cup of the day writing this, hence all the maths going on here, I'm definitely doing my bit for London's transport situation.

Royal Dutch Shell plc and Bio-Bean team up to help power London buses with a biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds.

Bio-bean said there is "no formal agreement" to continue using its coffee oil in London, but it hopes to quickly find new markets and applications.

It collects waste grounds from high street chains and factories, which are dried and processed to extract coffee oil. Currently, all coffee grounds are taken from inside the M25, but if they were to source further afield, it'd be a darn sight easier to power all of London on cleaner, more sustainable, fuel without us needing to down 12 cups of coffee a day.

Shell's involvement in the venture forms part of the oil company's #makethefuture energy relay, which supports entrepreneurs in the energy sector.

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Given the tiny proportion of coffee-based oil in the bus fuel, there was no immediate, empirical indication that the noisome whiff of central London's air would turn into the alluring aroma of, say, a Roman cafe, or even a Starbucks. "It's a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource".

Londoner's create around 200,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds every single year.

The company has produced 6,000 liters of coffee oil for the pilot project with London's transportation authority - enough to help power the equivalent of one city bus for a year.

Shell Singapore said, "The technology holds much potential for heavily motorised countries".

Currently, Bio-Bean has enough on hand (six thousand litres) to power one bus for a year, but access to raw material shouldn't be an issue once things get up and running.

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