A company from Cambridgeshire has become the first in the world to turn our obsession with fresh coffee into clean fuel.
Founded in 2013, bio-bean is an award-winning clean technology company that has industrialised the process of recycling spent coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals.
It is anticipated that we drink around 55million cups of coffee-a-day in the UK, with approximately half-a-million-tonnes of coffee waste historically ending up in landfill per year, emitting a greenhouse gas called methane that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
The existing bio-bean product list consist of biomass briquettes and pellets, a sustainable heat source alternative to woody biomass more traditionally used. In addition, the business is also researching biodiesel and biochemicals production for other commercial purpose.
Bio-bean has combined with a number of Waste Management specialists to collect waste coffee grounds from independent cafés, major coffee chains, universities, right through to property groups and instant coffee factories.
One company who is firmly on board with the venture, is Mick George Recycling – they too, also have a vestured interest on improving the state of the environment and their recycling partnerships throughout the county and logistical expertise, has certainly contributed to the 20 million cups of coffee granules already sold.
Once the coffee grounds have been collected, the process of separating, sieving and drying takes place, before being compressed in to the finished coffee-log. Each log is estimated to contain roughly 25 cups of granules and will provide about 1 hour of heat.
Abigail Johnson, Head of Waste at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’People are no longer just interested in the end product, they want to know where it has come from and how it will impact environmentally. The bio-bean initiative is a fantastic concept and one that we’re pleased to play a part in.’’
Johnson continued: ‘’Anything that can be done to displace conventional fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is something we would support. Our experience in the industry means we’re well placed to help with bins, refuse sacks, vehicles and the collection service.’’