It looks like humans aren’t the only ones fueled by caffeine. London’s iconic red buses are now too.
On Monday, some of the city’s buses ran on a special biofuel mix partially composed of used coffee grounds. Made by local startup Bio-Bean, in collaboration with petrol giant Shell, the biofuel is 80 percent traditional diesel and 20 percent coffee oil.
According to the BBC, more than 9,500 of the capital’s buses already use biofuels made from waste products – such as cooking oil and tallow from meat processing. This, however, is the first time they’ve tried a coffee-derived mixture.
Bio-Bean estimates that Londoners produce 200,000 tonnes of coffee waste a year. That’s a lot of potential fuel, and a lot of waste. So to harvest that, the startup collects used grounds from cafes and factories, then extracts the oil in their factory and mixes it with diesel.
So far, Bio-Bean has processed 6,000 litres of coffee oil – that’s enough to power a bus for an entire year. Best of all, the innovative biofuel can reduce carbon emissions made by these buses by as much as 10 to 15 percent, without even having to spend on changing their engines.
“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource,” said bio-bean founder Arthur Kay.
Bio-Bean plans to try the biofuel on black taxis soon. Yet another reason to get addicted to caffeine.