London buses are being powered by a new fuel: Coffee

According to the companies' statement, a new biofuel, containing part coffee oil, will be added to the London bus fuel supply chain where it can be used without the need for modification. Seeing as I'm already on my third cup of the day writing this, hence all the maths going on here, I'm definitely doing my bit for London's transport situation.

For the first time, Shell and bio-bean announced on Nov 20 that together they are helping to produce enough coffee oil to power some of London's buses.

-Biofuel made using waste products such as tallow from meat processing and cooking oil had already supplied in numerous capital's 9,500 buses.

To combat this, bio-bean has started working with high-street chains and factories in an effort to collect their waste coffee grounds and start putting it to better use.

Transport for London recently turned to using biofuels to reduce emissions from vehicles.

We have started in the United Kingdom, but imagine the potential of a country like South Africa, that drinks more than three-billion cups of coffee a year.

It would take just over 2.55 million cups of coffee - blended with diesel - to run one of London's buses for a year, Bio-bean estimates. The switch also helps towards Britain's clean growth strategy.

Founded in 2013, clean tech firm bio-bean produces alternative fuels and "coffee logs" for wood burning stoves made from recycled coffee grounds. About 6000 litres of coffee oil have been produced - which can power one diesel bus in London for a year.

Sinead Lynch, Shell's United Kingdom country chair, said: "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". Will the streets of London now smell of fresh coffee?

  • Wendy Palmer