London's buses will be partly powered by a biofuel made from waste coffee grounds, it has been revealed.

In a statement released this week, Shell and clean technology company bio-bean have announced that a biofuel containing a 20 per cent bio-component made up partly of coffee oil is being added to the fuel supply for London's buses.

London bus

A London bus drives across Westminster Bridge. PICTURE: Businesswire.

bio-bean founder Arthur Kay says the organisation, with the support of Shell and Argent Energy, has created thousands of litres of coffee-derived B20 biodiesel which will help power London buses. “It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource.” 

Data cited by the companies shows the average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day, producing more than 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. bio-bean works to collect some of the waste coffee grounds which are then dried and processed before the coffee oil is extracted. bio-bean then works with Argent to process the oil into a blended B20 fuel.

The organisations say 6,000 litres of coffee oil has been produced so far which could help power the equivalent of a London bus for a year.

Sinead Lynch, chair of Shell UK, says the company is "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.”

bio-bean already produces bio-mass pellets and briquettes called 'coffee logs' which are used for heating homes.