Coffee That Can Power The Planet
If you hate getting up in the morning, you may already think of coffee as fuel. But what if coffee could power not only us, but our homes and cars? It might sound like an outlandish idea, but bio-bean has made it a reality.
Arthur Kay founded bio-bean in 2013 with the ambitious vision of turning waste into energy. After all, in his words ‘there is no such thing as waste, just resources in the wrong place.’ The ‘wrong place’, as it turns out, is usually landfill, where around 500,000 tonnes of spent coffee grounds end up each year. Arthur’s lightbulb moment came when he was training as an architect, designing a coffee shop.
Recycling Waste Coffee Grounds
‘Why not collect the coffee grounds from cafes and recycle them?’ he thought. Not only would it help businesses by providing cheap waste disposal, it would reduce the amount of harmful methane gas produced by coffee in landfill. Most importantly it would be a clean, cheap and sustainable means of producing energy, in the form of biofuels.
Arthur’s idea became a reality and bio-bean was born. In 2015 the world’s first coffee waste recycling factory was opened with the capacity to process 50,000 tonnes of coffee grounds a year from cafes, coffee factories, offices and airports. They make biomass pellets which are used to heat buildings. By the end of 2016, bio-bean had recycled enough coffee to fuel 15,000 homes.
Now they have launched their first consumer product – biomass briquettes, otherwise known as ‘coffee logs’. Perfect for the BBQ, coffee logs are a clean and sustainable alternative to wood and coal and are available to purchase from Abel and Cole, Logs Direct and Ocado.
And they’re not stopping there – this year bio-bean is collaborating with Shell on a project to turn coffee waste into biodiesel. So it seems coffee really can power the planet!