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Money from Muck: Entrepreneurs getting hands dirty

They say that you have to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty to make any real money and one entrepreneur is taking that literarily. Each year the UK creates 117million tonnes of rubbish so if you can make money from rubbish, this is the place to be.

Over the last decade or so the country’s adopted coffee as its drink of choice. With sales of the drink outstripping tea for the 1st time last year, it’s safe to say that the American coffee culture’s taken hold of the nation. Making coffee is pretty wasteful as the whole bean is thrown away once the coffee’s extracted, so UCL architecture student Arthur Kay has come up with an idea that will turn the waste granules into fuel.

“I wanted to design a coffee shop where all the coffee grounds were turned into biodiesel to provide light and heat for the shop,” the sustainably minded student explained. At the moment there’s no technology that will allow us to extract energy from coffee beans so Mr Kay has been working on his idea with bio-chemical students and together they’ve developed a new way of processing waste coffee.

Biofuels are not commonplace but not unheard of either. It’s a developing market split into first gen biofuels which are specially grown to be used as fuels, like soy and rapeseed, and second gen fuels that use waste products like cooking oil. The rise of second gen biofuels has been brought on by environmentalists who have lobbied that the land taken up to grown first gen fuels is wasteful and could be used to grow food. The market’s also opening up thanks to legislation as Mr Kay explained: “The diesel in your car is made up of 5pc biodiesel and the EU is looking to raise the percentage of that coming from second generation sources.”

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