Elements Archives - bio-bean

New burn emissions regulations

On 1st May, new government regulations on the sale and burning of domestic solid fuels came into force, putting in place a ban in England on the sales of traditional house coal and wet wood. The regulations also bring in a new certification scheme (known as ‘Ready to Burn’) for manufactured solid fuels that are deemed ‘smokeless’.

This certification scheme sits alongside the already existing scheme for dried wood, which is also known as ‘Ready to Burn’.

DEFRA has chosen to exempt Coffee Logs and other innovative biomass fuels from the certification schemes, as these fuels are relatively new to the solid fuels category and sit outside the traditional classifications of coal and wood; classifications upon which domestic solid fuels emissions regulations have historically been based.

The new regulations stipulate that all manufactured solid fuels (i.e. smokeless fuels, which are primarily fossil-fuel based) must contain less than 2% sulphur and emit less than 5g of smoke per hour. Like wood logs, our Coffee Logs (fire logs made with recycled coffee grounds), only meet these limits in closed appliances (e.g. stoves) and as such neither wood nor Coffee Logs are deemed smokeless fuels.

DEFRA is currently creating an emissions testing regime for this new category of innovative biomass fuels (including our Coffee Logs) that are not made with fossil fuels and which sit outside the traditional solid fuel classifications. We are in active discussions with DEFRA to support and advance the creation of this new testing methodology.

In the meantime, Coffee Logs are permitted by DEFRA for sale and are safe to burn.

We welcome the government’s move as a significant step in the right direction for reducing reliance on carbon-heavy fossil fuels and cutting emissions contributing to climate change.


About Coffee Logs

Made of recycled spent coffee grounds, Coffee Logs are designed for use in wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves. They can be used instead of or alongside dry wood logs and, in fact, burn hotter than kiln-dried wood due to their naturally high calorific value.

Coffee Logs reduce waste by reusing coffee grounds that would otherwise be discarded and they avoid the heavy carbon footprint created by coal and other fossil fuels. By recycling spent coffee grounds into Coffee Logs, we save 80% on CO2e emissions compared to the grounds being sent to landfill.

Coffee Logs are available across the UK in major supermarkets, DIY retailers and garden centres. To learn more about Coffee Logs, visit the Coffee Logs website.

What is bio-bean Elements?

A question in a student’s mind sparked the bio-bean we now know. Is the film of oil on this cold americano an untapped resource? After delving into research on the matter, it transpired that the residual oil found in spent coffee could indeed be used as a fuel. So, bio-bean was born and, more recently, bio-bean Elements.

Elements is about providing sustainable solid biofuels for industry and consumers by using the untapped, naturally high calorific value found in coffee grounds. From Coffee Logs to coffee pellets we go full circle with coffee waste, recycling it to be used once more.

And by diverting and recycling spent coffee grounds we save 80% of the CO2e emissions compared to the grounds being sent to landfill, and 70% compared to them going through anaerobic digestion.

How coffee-based solid biofuels are made

Almost half a million tonnes of heavy, wet coffee grounds are created every year in the UK. It’s an unavoidable waste stream from the nation’s desire for coffee. A waste stream that grows by 95 million cups of coffee every day.

From independent to established coffee shop chains, office blocks and instant coffee manufacturers, we receive at our recycling plant thousands of tonnes of spent coffee grounds every year, with capacity to take even more.

It’s at our recycling plant in Cambridgeshire that the wet coffee grounds are ready to be decontaminated and put through our engineered drying process to lower the moisture content from around 60% down to around 10%.

Once the grounds have been dried and put through a final sieve, we compress them into coffee pellets or Coffee Logs.

bio-bean Elements: coffee pellets

The requirement for sustainable solutions to combat climate change isn’t a requirement that’s going away any time soon. Making sustainable choices is now commonplace in many business strategies, with a corporate responsibility to deliver on internal and external carbon goals. So, when it comes to industrial and commercial use of biomass boilers, a more sustainable energy solution is at hand.

Exploiting the high calorific content of coffee, over 15% higher than standard timber pellets, our biomass pellets, made from recycled spent coffee grounds, offer an ideal solution. They have a consistently low moisture content, high ash melting point, high bulk density and good durability.

This efficient burn profile also makes them a cost-efficient alternative to wood pellets. For the same energy output, your business will have a reduced volume and fewer deliveries.

To top it off, coffee pellets are Sustainable Fuel Register (SFR) accredited. Find out more about our coffee biomass pellets here.

bio-bean Elements: Coffee Logs

From that warm morning latte to a chilly winter’s night, consumers of Coffee Logs get an energy boost for themselves and their fires. These compact, sustainable fire logs made of spent coffee grounds are designed for use in wood burners and multi-fuel stoves and are the perfect fuel for heating your home with minimal climate impact.

Coffee Logs, as with all bio-bean products, contribute to a circular economy and they extend the life of spent coffee to use at home, displacing the need for fossil fuels like coal or for wood imported from other countries.

And just like our coffee pellets, Coffee Logs have a high caloric content, making Coffee Logs burn 20% hotter and longer than kiln-dried wood. Depending on your appliance efficiency and airflow, this equates to an average burn time of around one hour.

Keep an eye out for Coffee Logs online or at your local supermarket, DIY retailer or garden centre. For a full stockist list and to find out more, head to our Coffee Logs website.


If you’re interested in learning more about what we do with spent coffee grounds, read our What is bio-bean Naturals? and What is bio-bean Renewals? blog posts.

Coffee Logs by stove

Coffee Logs: sustainable solid fuel from recycled coffee grounds

In the UK our coffee drinking habit and the production of instant coffee generate an estimated 500,000 tonnes of spent coffee grounds each year. But what happens to all those grounds once we’ve finished brewing and processing?

Typically, spent coffee grounds are discarded with general waste and sent to landfill where they degrade and emit methane, a greenhouse gas with considerably more global warming potential than carbon dioxide.

Here at bio-bean, we divert spent coffee grounds away from landfill or other inefficient disposal methods and recycle them into new sustainable products. One such product is our solid biomass fuel for consumer use: Coffee Logs. Our process of diverting and recycling waste grounds into these eco-friendly fire logs saves 80% of the CO2e emissions versus the grounds being sent to landfill, and 70% if they were sent to anaerobic digestion (AD).

By recycling waste coffee grounds into Coffee Logs, not only do we save on emissions, but we harness the untapped energy contained in the grounds to give them a second life as a useful product. Spent coffee grounds have a naturally high oil content and therefore a high calorific value, making them an ideal energy source.

Before compressing the waste grounds into compact logs, the grounds go through an engineered drying process that allows us to ensure the moisture content of each log is around 10%, the perfect moisture for burning.

This, in combination with the naturally high calorific value, allows Coffee Logs to burn 20% hotter and longer than kiln-dried wood. They burn, on average, for an hour depending on the appliance efficiency and its airflow control.

Coffee Logs are compact and designed for use in domestic enclosed appliances, such as wood-burners and multi-fuel stoves. Each log is made from the grounds of around 25 cups of coffee, which we receive from a wide range of businesses across the country, from independent coffee shops, high-street chains and office blocks, to railway stations and most recently London Stansted airport.

Coffee Logs are packaged in fully recyclable, wet-strength paper bags containing 16 logs and are available online and in-store through retailers across the UK, including supermarkets, DIY stores and garden centres.

The positive environmental impact of recycling spent coffee grounds into fire logs, combined with their high-quality burn profile, makes Coffee Logs a sustainable alternative winter fuel.

Want to know more about Coffee Logs? Get in touch here.


Photo Credit: Ignite Stoves & Fires.

bio-bean is exhibiting at Glee

bio-bean is exhibiting at Glee

In just under two weeks, our Coffee Logs sales team are heading to Glee (Garden, Leisure, Equipment, Exhibition), the UK’s largest and most valuable garden and outdoor living trade show.

Glee is a showcase of fresh and exciting new products, innovations and inspiring insights within the garden retail sector. The team will be exhibiting our consumer retail brand of solid fuel briquettes – Coffee Logs – which are sold in DIY stores, supermarkets and garden centres across the UK.

Coffee Logs are a sustainable, high-performing fire log made of recycled coffee. They burn with high efficiency in multi-fuel stoves or wood burners (20% hotter and longer than kiln-dried wood!) and are an ideal solution for displacing conventional fossil fuels and imported wood.

Glee will be running 10-12th September at the NEC in Birmingham. Buyers, stop by stand 6S19 for more information about our coffee fire logs and to sign up for our prize draw to win one free pallet of Coffee Logs.

For more information about Glee and to register for your free ticket, visit the show’s website.

Pellet fuel made from waste coffee grounds offers a sustainable solution for industry

It has become clear that burning carbon-heavy fossil fuels in the form of coal, oil and gas is no longer an option given the state of our climate, and that we must continue to find innovative and sustainable methods to generate energy. One such method is biomass. Using this bio-fuel to generate heat is not only cost effective, but a powerful tool in moving towards a low carbon economy.

Typically we think of biomass fuel in the form of wood logs, chips or pellets but there are many other sources of renewable low carbon fuel, many of which have the benefit of being a by-product of other industries. Therefore they are deemed advanced / second generation biofuels. And as we look for ways to transition from fossil fuels to lower carbon alternatives, we start to discover innovative uses for a number of residues formerly perceived of as waste.

Some examples across industry include: olive pomace – the waste from olive oil production; paper pulp recovered from paper mills; oat husk and coconut shells from the food processing industry; and cotton waste from textile manufacturing. Quick, fast-growing land crops such as straw and miscanthus are also increasingly used for biomass energy generation.

These are just some of the alternative raw materials that are being pelletised to create clean, low-carbon energy.

But at bio-bean, we’ve found another alternative: recycled coffee grounds. Heavy, wet grounds are the unavoidable waste from the production of a cup of coffee. And with 95 million cups of the hot beverage drunk every day in the UK alone, that means nearly half a million tonnes of waste grounds are created every year. These grounds, once decontaminated, dried and pelletised, become a ‘super’ fuel: highly calorific, consistent and well suited to burn in large commercial and industrial-sized boilers. They are also Sustainable Fuel Register accredited and therefore eligible for the RHI.

Our coffee pellets are used to heat commercial green houses, to dry cereal crops and create process steam in large-scale dairies. In most cases traditional oil or gas boilers have been removed and replaced with modern, efficient biomass boilers. Anywhere there is a need for large quantities of thermal heat there is a place for renewable low carbon biomass energy. And our coffee pellets offer the perfect, sustainable solution, diverting as much waste coffee grounds away from landfill as possible, displacing fossil fuels and helping to decarbonise industrial businesses across the UK.