Wake Up and Smell the Coffee Power

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bio-bean makes biofuels from waste coffee

Pioneering, award-winning company bio-bean is the brainchild of former architectural student Arthur Kay. It makes biofuels from coffee waste. The idea came to Kay while studying at The Bartlett, UCL. In two years, bio-bean has grown to a team of twenty with an industrial-scale factory, winning multiple awards in the process, as well as the support from some major names like Virgin and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The UK drinks 70 million cups of coffee a year, which produces 500,000 tonnes of waste, and disposing of that costs £80m just within the coffee industry. But it also has a future – on an industrial estate in Cambridgeshire, the waste is being turned into advanced biofuels.


“We’ve gone from me with a silly idea to that in just over two years,” Arthur Kay, CEO and co-founder of bio-bean told WIRED 2015.

bio-bean’s process diverts waste from landfill or incineration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create carbon-neutral biofuels, helping businesses to save money, achieve sustainability goals and increase transparency of their waste disposal. A single tonne of coffee waste processed saves 6.8 tonnes in carbon emissions, equivalent to planting 90 trees.


He says, “As cities expand, we are being faced with the chance to reimagine the way in which food, technology and waste shape our lives and our built environment.”

All images © bio-bean

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