A hot cup of coffee is the ideal early morning pick-me-up the world over: we drink more than 600 billion cups of coffee every year, according to the International Coffee Organization.
For London based green energy company bio-bean, the lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites we drink are an abundant source of clean energy.
"We've industrialized the process of turning waste coffee grounds into a bio-diesel and a biomass pellet product," Arthur Kay, co-founder and CEO of bio-bean, told CNBC.com in a phone interview.
These bio-fuels – which are clean burning with a high oil content, according to Kay – are then sold to businesses in the U.K. and used to power both buildings and transport. "It's 100 percent carbon neutral," Kay said.
The U.K. produces roughly half a million tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year, Kay added. According to bio-bean, most of this is currently incinerated, sent to landfill or used in anaerobic digestion plants.
Bio-bean collects this waste and takes it to a processing plant near London, where the company converts it into a clean burning fuel.
"We… use a process called 'transesterification' to turn it from a coffee oil into a biodiesel," Kay added. "The residual biomass from that process is in turn used to turn into biomass pellets, so the actual whole process has no waste at all."