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Skyrora Performs First Eco-Fuel Tests to Power XL Rocket 

By | February 3, 2020


Skyrora, a Scotland-based satellite launch firm, has completed an eco liquid-fuel rocket engine ground test. The tests, a week of static horizontal firings conducted in Fife, compared the behavior of kerosene and its eco-fuel, Ecosene. The test firings allowed Skyrora to assess its 3D-printed 3.5 kilonewton LEO engine, which will be used to power the final upper stage of its XL rocket. 

Skyrora tested its Ecosene fuel on Jan. 31, comparing its performance and behavior to previous kerosene RP-1 rocket fuel tests. The company said that Ecosene is a high-grade fuel made from waste plastics designed to minimize the environmental impact of rocket launches. Skyrora said that because of its technology, Ecosene will be able to produce 600kg of usable kerosene from 1000kg of certain waste plastics in a 24-hour period. Skyrora, which aims to be the first U.K.-based company to fire a rocket into space from Scotland, plans to complete its inaugural launch of its Skyrora XL vehicle from a British spaceport by 2022.

“This fuel is made from unrecyclable plastic which otherwise would go into a landfill – helping us in our ambitions of revolutionizing the U.K. space industry,” said Skyrora Engineering Manager Dr. Jack-James Marlow, who oversaw the tests.