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New RAF wonder fuel

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New RAF wonder fuel

Old 17th Nov 2021, 10:19
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New RAF wonder fuel

Reported in the Telegraph today:

The RAF has completed the world’s first flight powered by synthetic fuel made from “air and water”. The fake fuel is called UL91.

That’s funny, I have been flying my 1938 Tiger Moth on UL91 for about 6 years without any snags.

Mog
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 10:41
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Originally Posted by Mogwi View Post
Reported in the Telegraph today:

The RAF has completed the world’s first flight powered by synthetic fuel made from “air and water”. The fake fuel is called UL91.

That’s funny, I have been flying my 1938 Tiger Moth on UL91 for about 6 years without any snags.

Mog
It's a fully synthetic version of UL91, rather than the UL91 AVGAS you have been using.
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 11:31
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The Steamfire?
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 12:35
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The Telegraph story is here. It doesn't say "fake fuel".
The producer of the fuel, called Zero Petroleum, says it indeed makes the fuel from "air and water" – by capturing carbon from atmospheric CO2 and capturing hydrogen by electrolysis from water, then synthesising whatever hydrocarbons are required. That sounds to me as if it'd be practical but would need a lot of energy, which Zero Petroleum have got because they're in Orkney where there are so many wind turbines that they produce more electricity than the islands can use.

Last edited by OldLurker; 17th Nov 2021 at 12:46.
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 13:43
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OL, exactly. So all that abundant electricity on tap in the UK can ensure that RAF AVGAS can now be carbon free. Just about fills all the tick boxes, along with those electric scooters. Someone needs to tell my energy company though. If it wasn't for the cap they'd be charging me even more than the King's Ransom I'm already paying.

Just a thought however, how much AVGAS does the RAF consume or even need now anyway? Will our potential enemies be ensuring their fuel is also politically acceptable or just be intent on defeating us anyway they can?
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 14:42
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Will our potential enemies be ensuring their fuel is also politically acceptable or just be intent on defeating us anyway they can?
You can't see any military or strategic advantage in being able to produce fuel independently from imported petroleum products?!
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 15:16
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Originally Posted by Recc View Post
You can't see any military or strategic advantage in being able to produce fuel independently from imported petroleum products?!
Not when we haven't the 'independent' energy resources to do so, no. And even if we had, what meaningful strategic advantage would there be provided from an AVGAS so produced? An Air Force needs as higher performance fuels as are available. As an island nation that has historically meant importing them by sea, at enormous cost in life and treasure in time of war it is true. I don't think flying around in a civvy single piston fed with this fuel is going to change that equation anytime soon. So why the copy and paste Telegraph story? Wouldn't be virtue signalling by the CAS/RAF of course....
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 15:31
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I don't know why I still get surprised by the old and brain dead on here, but I still do...
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 15:47
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Not when we haven't the 'independent' energy resources to do so, no. And even if we had, what meaningful strategic advantage would there be provided from an AVGAS so produced? An Air Force needs as higher performance fuels as are available. As an island nation that has historically meant importing them by sea, at enormous cost in life and treasure in time of war it is true. I don't think flying around in a civvy single piston fed with this fuel is going to change that equation anytime soon. So why the copy and paste Telegraph story? Wouldn't be virtue signalling by the CAS/RAF of course....
If you can synthesise the hydrocarbons for a piston engine surely you should be able to synthesise jet fuel. It is only paraffin after all
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 15:50
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Surely the solution is to simply fit one of those big wind turbines to the front of a Hercules. In addition to having excellent range as a tactical bomber the excess electricity generated could be used to power lights and a disco in the cargo hold for weddings etc to generate revenue when there isn’t a war on.

per ardua ad zero carbon footprint?
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 16:36
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I always thought the UK produced more fuel (gas/electric) more than it needed. Somebody just in a F-35 with UL96 and tell Insulate Britain.

OMAA
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 18:19
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Originally Posted by OMAAbound View Post
I always thought the UK produced more fuel (gas/electric) more than it needed. Somebody just in a F-35 with UL96 and tell Insulate Britain.

OMAA
The UK has been a net importer of electricity since 2010:

https://assets.publishing.service.go...W7ep-jMcIH6iHe
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 18:19
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
If you can synthesise the hydrocarbons for a piston engine surely you should be able to synthesise jet fuel. It is only paraffin after all
Yes, it's basically the same technology - carbon from the air, H2 from water. So far it's rather energy intensive and doesn't scale well, but they're working on it.
Time will tell if this turns out to be more environmental friendly and cost effective than bio based fuels (algae being a strong contender it that arena). Both have the potential for near zero net carbon, one takes large amounts of electricity, the other large amounts of space to grow the bio feedstock...
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 21:25
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Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
Surely the solution is to simply fit one of those big wind turbines to the front of a Hercules. In addition to having excellent range as a tactical bomber the excess electricity generated could be used to power lights and a disco in the cargo hold for weddings etc to generate revenue when there isn’t a war on.

per ardua ad zero carbon footprint?
Funnily enough, I was once told that it was possible to replace all the propellers with windmills, and use zero fuel. Then again, he was a university graduate.
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Old 17th Nov 2021, 22:57
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I do love it when some old fart makes statements like this, seemingly believing that AVTUR is somehow more high performance than AVGAS.

An Air Force needs as higher performance fuels as are available
As already touched upon, the alleged "higher performance fuels" the RAF use are kerosene-based, the stuff that can be used in lamps and heaters!

As an aside, the production and trial usage of synthetic kerosene fuels is old news, with Germany (among others) already funding increased development of sites for producing such fuels
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Old 18th Nov 2021, 00:14
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THS, as the old fart in question, I do not doubt that synthetic aviation fuels can be manufactured. The Luftwaffe depended on them when that from the Ploesti Oil Field became unavailable. What I question is how Zero Petroleum's product has become a 'wonder' fuel. There's nothing wonderful about it. It requires prodigious quantities of electricity to produce. How is it then 'zero carbon' given that other than UK nuclear generation (with decommissioning removing a lot of it very soon), the next big chunk is generated by burning natural gas?

https://gridwatch.co.uk/

And what has this to do with the RAF anyway? Zero may or may not be able to produce synthetic aviation fuel that can eventually compete in the open market. The UK may eventually wake up to the urgent need to get more nuclear generation on line ASAP. Then we can all wallow in the limitless 'free' electricity promised us all in the fifties. In the meantime we'll be lucky to keep the lights burning, let alone support energy heavy synthetic fuel production, zero C or otherwise. Zero fuelled up a light SE GA a/c with a few gallons of their 'wonder zero carbon' fuel and got the DT to run this promotional piece, and the RAF clambered aboard to give it the 'air of authority' it sought. Well done Zero! Null points everyone else!
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Old 18th Nov 2021, 00:37
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I'm just delighted that the RAF are realising the potential of the C42.
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Old 18th Nov 2021, 10:18
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C-42? Rather an old design, surely?

The Douglas C-42 was the designation given to a single transport aircraft, with the fuselage of the DC-2 but the tail and wing centre section of the DC-3. During the Second World War two C-42s were used as Staff and VIP transports.
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Old 18th Nov 2021, 10:25
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Comco Ikarus C-42 as shown in the article. Oh the dangers of context (or sarcasm whichever applies).
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Old 18th Nov 2021, 10:31
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https://www.midlandsengine.org/east-...-base-for-dhl/

Slightly different slant on sustainable fuel.
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