Scottish entrepreneurs could extract oil from coffee grounds to help save planet

Two Scotsmen, Fergus Moore and Scott Kennedy, think they may have discovered a way of replacing the use of palm oil. Palm oil has become a concern for environmentalists, as it’s thought that the massive plantations used to grow the palms now cover over 27 million hectares. This is putting native fauna and flora at risk, as they struggle to thrive due to the lack of biodiversity. The oil is cheap both to grow and produce, and as such is used across a vast range of products including chocolate, lipstick and biofuel. Fergus and Scott worked in coffee bars in Glasgow and were appalled at the amount of waste coffee grounds generated – about 40,000 tonnes in Scotland alone. The grounds are heavy as well, so expensive to dispose of.

The duo have set up a company called Revive Eco, whose slogan is ‘bringing waste to life’, to develop a process to extract oil from used coffee grounds. The resulting oil would have the same components as palm oil, and be safe for the food and cosmetic industries as well as more general usage. It would not only be sustainable and environmentally friendly, but as it uses a waste product it would also directly help reduce waste.
The company has received almost a quarter of a million pounds from the Zero Waste Scotland agency, who work to promote resource efficiency and the circular economy to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. Now they’ve been picked to represent Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Chivas Venture, an annual competition where entrepreneurs compete for a share a £776,000 pot for their world changing start-ups.

And now they are in the running for a share of a £776,000 funding pot, after it was announced Revive Eco would be representing Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Chivas Venture competition.

The pair plan to have their process up and running by next summer, and want to quickly roll it out to other coffee-drinking countries such as Italy.
Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’re always concerned about environmental issues and consider our products and packaging accordingly. We’re excited about this new initiative, which could be the start of a global change in oil production. To find out more about the Wholesale Coffee Company or browse our range of products, take a look at our website at