Alconbury brewing up for new tenant


bio-bean takes next steps in demonstrating pioneering green energy technology

Alconbury Campus is preparing to welcome a new tenant: the award-winning green energy company bio-bean, who have industrialised the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into Advanced Biofuels.

The UK coffee industry (cafes, factories for roasting and instant‎ coffee) produce over 500,000 tonnes of used coffee grounds a year, costing the industry £79.8m and creating considerable pressure on landfill, anaerobic digestors (AD) and incinerators – producing thousands of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Alongside this, 4.5 million tonnes of wood biomass pellets are used in the UK each year, with 80% of them imported, mainly from N America and Eastern Europe. This has an impact of over £1bn on the UK economy as well as a significant carbon footprint in the additional transportation.

bio-bean are developing an Advanced Biofuel demonstration centre and processing factory in one of the existing buildings on the Campus. The centre will develop bio-bean's process of recycling used coffee beans into biomass pellets.

The new centre will process a 130 tonnes of coffee waste per day‎ and start off with 5 members of staff but will develop as the venture grows to 15. The company has already opened an office on site close to the new facility.

‎Arthur Kay, Co-founder and Chief Executive of bio-bean, said:

"This is a hugely exciting time for the company, and we're grateful for the support we've had from the Alconbury team to get the planning application ready. We're passionate about the difference this technology and process can make not just in removing coffee waste from landfill ‎but making a real benefit from it in providing locally-produced, carbon neutral and cost effective source of fuel. To be able to do that in a recycled building at the heart of the growing R&D community at Alconbury Campus is a phenomenal chance for us to scale up production."

Tim Leathes, Project Director for Alconbury Campus owners and developers Urban&Civic, said:

“bio-bean are a great addition to the Campus community and we look forward to their continued success and expansion on site”

Executive Leader, Councillor Jason Ablewhite said:

“The council is delighted to welcome bio-bean into the growing Enterprise Campus and indeed Huntingdonshire-wide business community.  Our economic development team is already engaged with the company to offer our support for the company’s development, scale-up and growth and we look forward to working with them to ensure their future success.”

Neil Darwin, Interim Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said:

“Alconbury Enterprise Campus is a prime location for businesses to locate, close to strong transport links across the UK. We are pleased that bio-bean have chosen to set up their new operation onsite and look forward to seeing them moving in and becoming part of this growing innovation community”.

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