Coffee Heats up Homes – level 3
Around 200,000 tonnes of coffee grounds end up in London’s landfills a year, but 26-year-old Arthur Kay, the CEO of Bio-Bean, has a solution.
The Londoner has been developing his business for three years and has high profile supporters including Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies.
Key explained that his business takes out the oils from the used coffee grounds, which could then be potentially used as a biodiesel, to create a coffee log product, which is a solid fuel for use in your fireplace at home.
One log is from the waste of 25 cups of coffee, and the logs burn hotter and longer than wood, according to Mr Key. Every tonne of coffee used instead of coal saves the same amount of CO2 as driving a black cab from London to Beijing and back twice!
Each year, Key’s factory produces 50,000 tonnes of product, which is enough to power several hundred thousand homes. If people got all of the used coffee grounds in the UK, they could probably power around two-thirds of London just from waste coffee grounds.
Arthur was really excited in the beginning about coffee logs smelling like coffee, but says that it is actually a more or less odourless fuel. However, the coffee oils smell very strongly of coffee.
Difficult words: coffeegrounds (used coffee), CEO (a chief executive officer, the highest-ranking person in a company), log (a large piece of wood that people commonly use to start fires), odourless (having no odour – smell), fuel (a material which is burned to produce heat or power).
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