London's Iconic Red Buses Are Now Powered By Coffee

Starting Monday, November 20, the engines of London's iconic red buses are to run on a special biofuel mix made partially from old coffee grounds. The brainchild of British start-up Bio-Bean, in financial collaboration with petrol giant Shell, the greener fuel is composed of 80% ordinary diesel and 20% oil extracted from coffee waste.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

While London buses are already fuelled in part from waste products, such as cooking oil, this is the first time that coffee has entered the equation. Bio-Bean initially aimed to create a cheap, renewable power source for homes but have now set their eyes on the transport sector. As Bio-Bean founder Arthur Kay explained of the move:

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

Carbon emissions set to drop by 10–15 %

As the Independent explains, the start-up collects discarded coffee grounds from bars and restaurants across the capital, including Costa and Caffe Nero, before transforming it into oil and mixing it with diesel at a factory in Cambridge. 

A win-win situation, this allows companies to get rid of their waste for free while creating a powerful biofuel that's set to reduce CO2 levels across London. 

According to Bio-Bean, the coffee-injected fuel could allow carbon emissions from buses to drop by as much as 10% to 15%, without the vehicles having to change their engines.  The company hopes to extend the initiative to black taxis in the near future. So sip up, London.