Sustainable UCL


Turning our coffee waste into bio-fuel

In 2016 UCL partnered with UCL graduate, Arthur Kay founder and CEO of bio-bean to turn our coffee waste into sustainable, clean biofuel and ‘Coffee Logs’ designed for use in wood burners and stoves.

Who are Bio-bean?

Image of Bio Bean fire
Bio-bean are the first company in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemical. Their ambition is to power London from the coffee waste produced and drunken by Londoners. This will prevent a need for fossil fuels and petro chemicals which are extremely damaging for our health and the environment.


Nearly 9,500 people die each year in London due to long-term exposure to air pollution of which diesel vehicles are the main polluter. This will also help prevent ½ a million tons of waste a year from ending up in landfill, a result of the 17 million cups of coffee being drunk daily in the UK. Alternative energy fuels such as biofuel also offer a solution to the global energy crisis, where demands on natural resources to power industrial society are diminishing as demand rises.

See Bio’Beans vision here.

Bio-bean and UCL

Image of coffee
UCL’s coffee waste has been collected by bio-bean since 2017, and has been turned into bio-fuels or coffee logs.

Arthur Kay came up with the idea of bio-bean when tasked with looking at closed loop waste-to-energy systems for his Architecture degree at UCL. When he chose coffee shops as a case study, he discovered the amount of oil content in coffee and the sheer amount of waste produced- 200,000 tonnes a year in London alone- and set about forming bio-bean.

Bio-bean’s team of scientists are based at UCL, led by Dr Paul Hellier in Mechanical Engineering- they are researching new ways to use waste coffee grounds. UCL is proud to partner with bio-bean to turn its coffee waste into clean biofuel and to help transform the energy and waste sectors sustainably.