Arthur Kay

Coffee starts the day for billions of people the world over, but very few consider what happens to the waste from their cup. As it happens, coffee grounds are an excellent base material for clean biofuels, and a good alternative for fossil fuels.

Every day, the world consumes nearly 1.5 billion cups of coffee. Those billions of cups of coffee create 25 million tons of coffee-ground waste every year, leading to 90 million tons of CO2 emissions. Arthur Kay, the founder and CEO of bio-bean, recognised that this waste could easily become a sustainable resource for biofuels.

While studying at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, Kay was working on a project on closed-loop systems. He was designing a coffee shop and found himself becoming interested in waste management, after realising that coffee was being wasted everywhere. That’s how, in 2013, he founded bio-bean, the first company in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals.

After biomass pellets and eco briquettes made from recycled coffee grounds, bio-bean is meanwhile further broadening R&D into liquid fuels and biochemicals.