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British startup turns waste coffee into biofuel for London buses

Company says Britain produces 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds a year, most of which are discarded in landfill sites

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

British startup turns waste coffee grounds into biofuel for London buses

has partnered with Shell (RDSB) and Argent Energy to create a coffee-based that will be used in London's diesel buses.

The new biofuel, which contains part coffee oil, is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain where it can be used without the need for modification, the company said in a statement, according to a report by Reuters.

How it works?

estimates that Britain produces 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds a year, most of which are discarded in landfills where they emit harmful

The startup collects used coffee grounds from cafes, restaurants and factories, and transports them to its recycling facility. There, the grounds are dried before coffee oil is extracted.

The coffee oil is then blended with other fuels to create B20 biofuel, which can be used in diesel buses without modification.

"Spent coffee grounds are highly calorific and contain valuable compounds, making them an ideal feedstock from which to produce clean fuels," the company says on its website.

made using waste products such as cooking oil and tallow from meat processing is already used in many of the capital's 9,500 buses.

However, this is thought to be the first time a coffee-derived has been added to London's public transport system.

Enough coffee waste to run London bus for a year

The firm believes it would take just over 2.55 million cups of coffee to create the enough to run a London bus for one year once the oil has been blended with diesel.

Six-thousand litres of coffee oil have been produced so far.

"It's a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource," founder Arthur Kay said.

The company also sells "coffee logs," which are used in fireplaces and stoves as an alternative to wooden logs, reported CNN Tech.

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

"There is huge potential for this project to expand in the US, which drinks the most coffee on the planet, 400 million cups of per day," the company said in a written statement.

Transport for London (TfL) has been turning to biofuels to curb carbon emissions, trialling a fuel made with used cooking oil from the catering industry, the transport operator said on its website.

First Published: Tue, November 21 2017. 16:19 IST