London company turn coffee grounds into fuel

Roasted_coffee_beansAt Rijo42, we’re very aware of our ethical and environmental responsibilities, and so we particularly like hearing about new ideas to re-use waste products. That’s why we were interested to hear about Bio-bean, a new company based in London who are turning used coffee grounds into fuel.

The idea is the brainchild of Arthur Kay, who was an architecture student at when he hit upon the plan of turning some of London’s 200,000 tonnes of used coffee grounds into something useful. His patented process extracts the oil from the grounds and converts it into biofuel products, including biodiesel and biomass pellets. Kay has big dreams for his company, and has short term plans to set up a waste processing site than can handle 30,000 tonnes of waste a year.

With some London buses already running on biodiesel, Kay is initially aiming his fuel at the capital’s transport system. He’s also had interest from coffee companies and big coffee shop chains, hoping to close the loop by running their own vehicles on the combustible caffeine. With more and more people installing solid fuel heating systems in their homes, as well, it looks like Bio-Bean’s biomass pellets will also find a ready market. Tests by the company show their ‘coffee pellets’ burn with 150% more energy than standard wood pellets, due to the higher oil content.

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson is already on board, and Kay won the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize, giving him the funding to make his dream start to become a reality. In the near future, we may be able to buy a cup of coffee from a coffee shop, secure in the knowledge that we’re helping to power the bus that takes us home again.

In the meantime, for everything you need to run your coffee business, from coffee supplies to machines, take a look at our website at