UK tested UAV flying with synthetic kerosene with high sugar levels

LONDON, ($1=0.76 British Pounds) — The British Royal Air Force [RAF] has successfully tested an unmanned aerial vehicle flying with an alternative to fossil fuels – synthetic kerosene. The test was conducted under the Vermeer project, which is a collaboration between the United States and Britain, which aims to engage London to invest in new technologies, developments, and military startups.

UK tested UAV flying with synthetic kerosene with high sugar levels
Photo credit: RAF

The synthetic kerosene used, according to the British Ministry of Defense, has high levels of sugar and is obtained by mixing mainly food waste and bacteria. In this way, an oil substance is created. A process of chemical and heat treatment follows to reach the final product – aviation fuel.

Experts say that this synthetic kerosene, or any synthetic aviation fuel, does not require much infrastructure. This is an extremely low-budget production, allowing it to be produced anywhere and in small rooms, which is an option that the military can actually deploy quickly and around the world.

Defense Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “This is an exciting time for the RAF and British industry as they continue to develop pioneering solutions to help address climate change. These new approaches will maintain our world-class fighting forces whilst reducing our carbon footprint.”

The “breakthrough”, as some media have begun to call the test, does not mean that Britain will immediately replace standard fossil fuels, but it is a first step in creating sustainable future military platforms. Military experts say the future may not be far off when a large number of military drones and combat sachets will use synthetic fuels and reduce their carbon footprint.

A similar view was expressed by Aviation Vice Marshal Lincoln Taylor, who said Britain should be prepared to minimize environmental damage.

The British military says it originally created 15 liters of synthetic kerosene in the laboratory. The work was carried out by C3 Biotechnologies Ltd together with laboratory technicians from the US Navy. Once the fuel was ready, the drone selected for the test was loaded with it and flew for 20 minutes in the skies of the Wiltshire fields. According to the British military, the data collected show that there is no difference between the flight and the functional capabilities of the drone if it uses standard fuel or synthetic kerosene.

Chief of US Naval Research Rear Adm Lorin C. Selby said: “It is exciting and game-changing to work with our allies in the UK to develop a more efficient synthetic aviation fuel. The U.S. Navy is committed to finding innovative solutions to operational challenges, and the ability to manufacture this fuel without large infrastructure requirements would be ground-breaking for deployed forces.”

According to the information provided, the British Royal Air Force continues to work on the project. Next is the development of a strategy to improve the process by which such laboratories can quickly deploy to produce synthetic kerosene.

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