About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: January 2014
Based: London
Website: www.bio-bean.com
Twitter: @Bio_Bean_UK
Category: Environment

Bio-bean is a green energy company. It recycles coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and uses it to power buildings and transport.

Bio-bean is one of the first companies in the UK to industrialise the coffee waste recycling process. The company takes coffee waste and uses a chemical process to turn it into biomass pellets which can be used to run buildings and vehicles. The idea is to help reduce carbon admissions and dependency on conventional fuels.

The company was set up in January 2014 by Benjamin Harriman and Arthur Kay, two graduate entrepreneurs who saw the potential of food waste recycling following the rise in the number of coffee shops and cafes across the UK.

London’s coffee industry currently produces over 200,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year and bio-bean processes more than 30,000 tonnes of it - helping to prevent emissions of methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Arthur pitched the orginal idea back in 2012 and won the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Prize before going on to develop bio-bean further. Since then the team has received extra financial support and office space in Tower Bridge through a scheme for entrepreneurs called the Sirius Programme headed up by UK Trade and Investment.

Benjamin and Arthur are hoping to export the idea, and are currently looking into franchising opportunities in Europe and the US.