In our hectic, sleep deprived lives we might feel sometimes we are fuelled by coffee, but what if other appliances could be too? A staggering 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year worldwide. Each espresso shot uses 42 beans and with most shop bought coffee having a double shot thats equates to 84 beans per shop bought coffee. But these big numbers, lead to the production of huge amounts of waste – 200,000 tonnes a year in London alone. Has anyone ever questioned the potential of this waste product? Today we profile company, bio-bean, that has.
The award-winning clean technology company has recently developed a product that extends the life cycle of a coffee bean beyond our morning caffeine fix. Just like coffee is used to fuel us, we can re-use it to heat our homes. The team are in the process of developing a number of bio-based products made from the recycled WCG. Their latest product, launched to the mass market last month, is Coffee LogsTM – a product designed to offer a sustainable alternative to conventional solid fuels, fossil fuels and imported woody biomass for use in open fires, chimineas and compatible solid fuel stoves.
bio-bean ( @Bio_Bean_UK ) was founded by Arthur Kay ( @arthurkay_ ) who first developed the idea whilst he was studying an architecture degree at University College London. Since starting up the company in 2014 the entrepreneur has already earned some esteemed awards and has quickly built up a team of 25 staff. They are dedicated to looking at new ways that WCG can be turned into a renewable products to reduce CO2 emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels. bio-bean works in collaboration with coffee shops, offices, instant coffee factories, coffee roasteries and waste management companies from across the UK to recycle WCG and transform them into innovative advanced biofuels. bio-bean’s pioneering WCG recycling factory in Cambridgeshire is the first in the world and can process up to 50,000 tonnes of WCG a year - the waste from 1 in 10 cups of coffee drunk in the UK.
The company's mantra is to get cities powered by coffee, visible on Twitter using the hashtag #poweredbycoffee, by replacing conventional fuels and chemicals with sustainable, cost-effective alternative advanced biofuels.
bio-bean’s Founder and CEO, Arthur Kay, said: “For a lot of people coffee is what powers them through the day. Now, we want to get our buildings and BBQs fuelled sustainably. Starting at home, bio-bean Coffee Logs allow everyone to do that your morning cup of coffee can heat your home, power your stove and even your BBQ.”
Although the company is still relatively new it has already secured backing from a lot of private investors and won the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2014 which funded research and development as well as their factory. bio-bean has been supported by chef and food waste campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who stated the company has “a sustainable approach to a major food waste issue” with further support from infamous designer Kevin McCloud: “My Green Hero! Power your home with coffee fuel from bio-bean”.
Kay has big ambitions for the company just as he has already demonstrated. Further research and development is being conducted to produce bio-based liquid fuels and biochemicals for the future. Watch this space!
Coffee LogsTM are now available to buy online and at an increasing number of outlets across the UK. They cost £6.99 RRP and there are 16 Coffee Logs per bag. Each log burns for approximately 54 minutes. More information can be found on their website here.
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