Knowledge hub

bio-bean: recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals

The Problem:

Most of the waste coffee grounds are disposed of via landfill where they emit methane, a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. As well as damaging the environment, landfill is a costly method, assumed a government’s landfill tax is into place.

The Solution:

bio-bean industrialises the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals. Spent coffee grounds are highly calorific and contain valuable compounds, making them an ideal feedstock from which to produce a variety of second-generation products, like eco heating briquettes or coffee logs. 
Coffee Logs™ can fuel homes and appliances such as wood fired stoves, chimneys and BBQs. Biomass pellets from waste coffee grounds can be used for heating buildings, thus displacing fossil fuels. 

In practice, bio-bean collaborates within the existing waste collection infrastructure to collect spent coffee grounds from coffee shops, offices, transport hubs and coffee factories.

The Impact:

bio-bean has developed arguably the world’s first and largest recycling plant for spent coffee grounds specifically. We have created new supply chains through engagement and collaboration with existing infrastructure to collect the grounds at scale (currently ~8,000t p.a.) as well as launching new, innovative products into the market which drive towards a circular economy model. We have had our process verified to prove the CO2e savings versus current methods of disposal (landfill, AD etc.) and we are focused on driving impact and behaviour change at scale.    

Current Needs:

"We’re always on the lookout for possible partners and business with whom we can collaborate, in particular at the moment as we look to expand the business into N. Europe – we’re on the hunt for partners who can supply large volumes of spent grounds, offer suitable locations for the processing of the grounds and anyone involved in innovation in biomass – whether for bio-fuels or other bio-products.
We’re also keen to push the innovation/sustainability agenda in legislative/governmental arenas, although we are limited in terms of resource for lobbying and so any support that the Circle Lab community can provide would be great!"