My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Bio-Bean is making Biofuel from Coffee Waste as Coruscant looms

Friday, January 1, 2016

How Bio-Bean is making Biofuel from Coffee Waste as Coruscant looms

“We've gone from me with a silly idea to that in just over two years”
CEO and co-founder, bio-bean, Arthur Kay, on converting Coffee Waste into Biofuel

Coffee is a drink best served hot especially in New Kingston and Half-Way-Tree as reported in my blog article entitled “Why I love Coffee Houses in Kingston - Great place for Secret Business Meetings in Kingston and St. Andrew”. 

But if you make your own Coffee from the roasted beans or you buy ground Coffee, it might have occurred to you that disposing of the Coffee waste presents a problem!

This is where the company Bio-Bean steps in to convert Coffee waste into biofuels as explained in the article “This man's factory is turning waste Coffee into green energy”, published October 15 2015 by James Temperton, The Jamaica Observer

The Coffee waste that would usually clog kitchen sinks is converted by Bio-Bean into two products:

1.      Biomass pellets
2.      Biodiesel

So how did this company Bio-Beans come about? And is it economically viable?

Original of Bio-Beans - Recycling of Coffee Waste and Cooking Oil into Biofuel

Arthur Kay, an architecture student at The Bartlett, UCL, realized as an entrepreneur that he had Coffee all wrong. He thought he could create a Coffee house where you could make money both from the sales of Coffee as use the Coffee waste from the ground beans to create electricity.

However, he soon realized that he could make money by converting Coffee water from other people's Coffee pots into biofuel. This after he became aware of a few facts about Coffee consumption in Britain:

1.      70 million cups of Coffee annually are drunk in the UK
2.      500,000 tonnes of waste 
3.      £80m of dispose of the Coffee waste within the Coffee industry

Knowing this, he started his renewable energy company Bio-Bean in a 20,000 square foot factory, employing with 25 people over a two (2) year span. His expressed aim; to capitalize on the growing abundance of Coffee Waste and convert it into Biofuel.

This idea is very similar to recycling Waste Cooking Oil, which like Coffee Waste is usually generate in restaurants or eateries, something that HERO BX plans to do in the Caribbean as noted in my blog article entitled “HERO BX commercial-scale biodiesel plant - How Jamaica can recycle Cooking Oil to supply US$614.92 billion market”.


They collect Coffee Waste from manufacturing plants in London as well as from Coffee Shops in London. This is then sent to a plant in Edmonton in North London, when it’s processed into Biodiesel with the solid waste then used to make Biomass pellets.

Most likely, that company uses a process involving GM (Genetically Modified) bacteria, such as the Escherichia Coli as developed by Dr Patrik Jones of Imperial College London as reported in my blog article entitled “How Imperial College London Escherichia Coli makes Propane and Biodiesel from Cooking Gas”.

The savings from the recycling of Coffee Waste into Biofuel is quite amazing, as they convert some 50,000 tonnes per year, equal to the waste produced by 100 cups of Coffee per second. Also a tonnes of Coffee waste translates to 6.8 tonnes in carbon emissions.

Coffee Waste to Biofuel - Why Biofuel from Coffee Waste will be as big as Coruscant

This would seem to imply that there is room for expansion, especially as more people will eventually begin to live in the cities, requiring more recycling of the waste generated rather than dumping it, to quote CEO Arthur Kay: “We're rapidly becoming an urban species, these cities act as massive amplifiers for the good and the bad”.

Good to note that he's recycling the Waste from the Coffee producers who make ground Coffee as well as Coffee shops. As the world gets more urbanized, we'll all be drinking Coffee from Coffee houses in massive cities.

Earth will very likely become like Coruscant, the planet in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, by the year 2100; one large planet-sized city.

However, he hasn't even begun to tackle pulp waste generated from Coffee Farms in eighty countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. The big three in Coffee production are as follows:

1.      Brazil
2.      Vietnam
3.      Indonesia

Albeit 80% of the world's CO2 emissions come from the cities as the world population swells towards 11 billion by 2100 as projected in my blog article entitled “United Nations Population Division says 11.2 billion people by 2100 - Why Africa and India Population exploding as Insect Meat is coming” there is also an ecological disaster occurring in the Developing World Countries where Coffee is grown.

In short, we’re running out of Coffee!

Coffee shortage in 2016 – Drought, Agricultural Towers and Biofuel Future

There is a coming shortage of Chocolate, made from the cocoa plant which grows under similar conditions as reported in my blog article entitled “Chocolate Shortage in 2020 – Chinese, Indian and American addiction Inflates Price of Cocoa as Jamaica needs to produce Chocolate”.

Coffee too will also face shortages as Third World countries like Brazil face drought as reported in the article “Global Coffee Shortage Looms as Market Braces for Climate Change”, published October 1, 2015 by Whitney McFerron, Bloomberg

Being the world’s biggest producer will affect the global supply of Coffee. Brazil aside from battling the Zika Virus as noted in my blog article entitled “739 Zika Virus Cases in Brazil and 2 adult deaths - How Zika Virus is causing birth defects in unborn Brazilian babies”.

Brazil, which produces both, will have to decide between land usage for Food Security and housing versus growing cash crops that have no real nutritional value. This means less or more expensive Coffee and Chocolate to satisfy the tastes of growing affluent billions living in these massive cities.

Especially as exotic concoctions such as glow-in-the-Dark Iced Coffee Chocolate Milk becomes popular described in my blog article entitled “How to Make Glow-in-The-Dark Iced Coffee Chocolate Milk – How Coffee can be made healthy for Children”.

In a bid to satisfy the demand for food and luxuries like Coffee and Chocolate, these future cities might resort to growing their food in Agricultural towers as described in my blog article entitled “How IGES Canada Ltd Vertical Hydroponic Aquaponic Towers make low cost Organic foods”. 

So companies like Bio-Bean and HERO BX are a good long-term investment, as they'll grow as the inevitable Coruscant of the future will require food for humans and fuel for their vehicles!

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