“We have really succeeded in succeeding with our innovations [because] We’ve reached the scale, says George May, director and chief commercial officer of Bio-bean. Others may recycle one or 10 tons of coffee. We have recycled more than 20,000 tons in our lifetime. ”
Bean was affected by the Covid-19 crisis, but its operations are continuing. Although UK coffee outlets are temporarily closed due to coronary virus restrictions, Bio-bean says it can still get reasons from various recycling partners, but at lower sizes than usual.
Coffee as fuel
At the company’s factory in Cambridgeshire, coffee grounds used to remove paper cups or plastic bags are cleared, and then pass through a dryer and other inspection. It is finally processed in products such as biomass pellets and home fire records.
The company also produces a natural flavor extract of coffee through a separate process.
Pellets can be used to power industrial boilers, heat commercial greenhouses or to dry grain crops, while coffee logs can be used in burners.
“The coffee is very high calorie and can be used as a really great fuel,” says May. “They burn 20% hotter and 20% longer than wood logs.”
The causes of recycled coffee can be fuel, says Jenny Jones, professor of sustainable energy at the University of Leeds, but adds that the total carbon savings need to be assessed and compared to alternatives to deal with ground coffee litter, such as burning, or turning it into sawdust for plants.
Jones also says that ground coffee, like most biomass residues, is higher in sulfur and nitrogen than most wood, which emits harmful gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides when burned.
Although delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, Bio-bean says it plans to expand its operations in northwest Europe within the next five years.