Millions — perhaps even billions — of people around the world run on caffeine daily, but what if their households could too? A renewable biofuel made from ground coffee beans has been years in the making, and according to The Telegraph it's slated to hit the UK market this summer.
The product, called Bio-bean, was developed by an architecture student and is intended to be used in wood-burning stoves in place of wood or coal; it's said to be roughly half the price of either of those more traditional fuels. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), burning Bio-bean won't make your house smell like Starbucks: To make the product, "The grounds are stripped of oil and packed together to form small bricks, which do not release an aroma when burnt."
The heyday of restaurants profiting off used fryer oil seems to be over, as the falling price of crude oil means biofuels are no longer an attractive option to power vehicles — but alternative sources to power homes are still cost-beneficial, not to mention that whole issue of conserving fossil fuels. And it's not just consumers that can benefit: Coffee companies are now saving money by working with the London-based company; instead of paying to have their spent grounds carted off to landfills, Bio-bean takes the waste off their hands and turns it into fuel.
Bio-bean isn't the only company attempting to take on sustainability by turning food waste into something useful: Small startups are turning ugly produce into juice and spent grains from the beer-making process into bread.