RAF tests green fuel made of ‘air and water’ to power the planes of tomorrow

A defence source said while the breakthrough was still in its infancy, “it may change the type of fuels for all aircraft in years to come”.

“It will likely be one of several options for powering aircraft and, from a military perspective, it could be more secure to produce as it stops reliance on drilling, oil and carbon-based products,” they added.

The Ministry of Defence said that UL91 will support the RAF’s vision that synthetic fuels will have a major role in powering the fast jets of the future, as part of the Government’s Net Zero by 2050 goal.

UL91 is made by Zero Petroleum and manufactured by extracting hydrogen from water and carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide. Using energy generated from renewable sources such as wind or solar, these are combined to create the synthetic fuel.

Paddy Lowe, the chief executive of Zero Petroleum, said that the fuel had the potential to “eliminate fossil CO2 emissions from a number of difficult but critical sectors, including transport which currently accounts for 23 per cent of the global total”.

Mr Lowe added that the test pilot’s observations showed “no difference in power or general performance compared to standard fossil fuel”.

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