London buses powered by coffee


As of the beginning of this week, some of London’s buses were powered by biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds.  The Shell and bio-bean innovation – B20 biofuel – contains a 20% bio-component which contains part coffee oil.

The biofuel is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain and will help to power some of the buses; without need for modification. Biofuel provides a cleaner, more sustainable energy solution for buses across London’s network by decreasing emissions.

“Our Coffee Logs have already become the fuel of choice for households looking for a high-performance, sustainable way to heat their homes,” said bio-bean’s founder Arthur Kay. “With the support of Shell, bio-bean and Argent Energy have created thousands of liters of coffee-derived B20 biodiesel which will help power London buses for the first time.”

“It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource.”

According to a company release, the average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day, producing over 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, much of which would otherwise end in landfill.

Bio-bean works to collect some of these waste coffee grounds from high street chains and factories, which is then dried and processed and coffee oil extracted. Bio-bean and fuel partner Argent Energy then process the oil into a blended B20 biofuel.

6,000 litres of coffee oil has been produced, which when used as a pure-blend for the bio component and mixed with mineral diesel to form a B20, could power the equivalent of one London bus for a year.

This is one of the latest collaborations in the Shell #makethefuture energy relay, which supports entrepreneurs turning bright energy innovations into a positive impact for communities around the world.

Sinead Lynch, Shell UK Country chair, said: “When it comes to clean energy, we are always looking for the next inventive solution. A good idea can come from anywhere, but with the scale and commitment of Shell, we can help enable true progress. We’re pleased to be able to support bio-bean to trial this innovative new energy solution which can help to power buses, keeping Londoners moving around the city – powered in part by their waste coffee grounds.”