This British launch turns coffee into fuel

This British launch turns coffee into fuel

Starbucks (SBUX) has begun to try recyclable alternatives to disposable cups. But used coffee is often overlooked. The British startup Bio-bean believes that it has found a way to turn this waste into a valuable resource.
The world is drinking around 2 billion cups of coffee per day, producing 6 million tons of used fruit each year, according to 2011 survey,, When they go to the landfill, the decomposing areas emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.
However, the organic bean turns 7,000 tons of these per year for biofuels. In 2017, it developed a coffee-based biofuel that will be used in London diesel busesbut was not commercially viable, so the company turned its focus to solid fuels for domestic and industrial use,,
These fuels emit greenhouse gases when burned, but if they replace other carbon-based fuels, Bio-Bean estimates that the recycling process reduces emissions by 80% compared to sending the reasons to the landfill.
Organic beans have gained more than $ 7 million in funding since its inception in 2013. It recycles grounds collected from companies, including Costa coffee, Stansted Airport in London and the UK railway operator Network Rail.

“We really succeeded with our innovation [because] we were able to get to the scale, “says George May, director and CEO of Bio-bean.” Other people can recycle one or 10 tons of coffee. We have recycled over 20,000 tons in our lifetime. ”

The organic bean was affected by the Covid-19 crisis, but its operations continue. Although coffee shops in the UK have been temporarily closed due to coronavirus restrictions, Bio-bean says it has still been able to get rationale from various recycling partners, but at smaller volumes than usual.

Coffee as fuel

At the company’s Cambridgeshire plant, the coffee base used is decontaminated to remove paper cups or plastic bags and then passed through a dryer and further sifting. Finally, they are processed into products such as biomass pellets and firewood.

The company also produces a natural aroma of coffee-based extract through a separate process.

Pellets can be used to feed industrial boilers, to heat commercial greenhouses or to dry cereals, while coffee can be used in incinerators.

“Coffee is high in calories and lends itself to really fantastic fuel,” says May. “They burn about 20% hotter and 20% longer than logs do.”

Jenny Jones, a professor of sustainable energy at the University of Leeds, says the recycled coffee base has potential as a fuel, but adds that overall carbon savings need to be assessed and compared with alternatives to dealing with coffee waste, such as incineration. i.e. or turning it into mulch for plants.

Jones also says that the coffee base, like most biomass residues, has a higher sulfur and nitrogen content than most woods, which emit harmful gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides when burned.

Organic bean notes that its commercial pellets for biomass are certified by the United Kingdom Sustainable fuel registerwhile coffee logs have “lower emissions of dust particles than most logs”.

Although slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, Bio-bean says it plans to expand in Northwestern Europe over the next five years.

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