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UK spaceport and the future of fuel

Work has begun on the UK’s first spaceport, and the race for sustainable fuel continues.

Ground has been broken, and construction has started on the UK’s first vertical spaceport. Located in Sutherland, on the north coast of Scotland, the port will launch a series of satellites into space. This will give a birds-eye view of the world below and monitor patterns related to climate change.

The project will also claim the title of the first carbon-neutral spaceport in the world. Space company, Orbex will send twelve rockets into orbit each year, which will be retrieved and reused for more missions. What’s more, the rockets will be fuelled using an environmentally friendly gas.

Futuria Liquid Gas is sourced sustainably and cuts carbon by up to 86%, compared to oil. It’s also 100% compatible with LPG-fuelled machines and is already being used to power forklift trucks.

Calor Gas, who have developed the technology, claims switching to Futuria Liquid can cut a forklift truck’s CO2 emissions by up to 48% and particle matter found in diesel by 98%. Forklift trucks also run for up to three times longer than electric powered machines and are Green Gas Certified.

With diesel prices still much higher than they were eighteen months ago and restrictions placed on red diesel in 2022, cheap, sustainable fuel alternatives have been sought after in the industry. Power-hungry sectors like steel rely on traditional fossil fuels to reach the temperatures needed to produce products, and liquid gas may offer a solution to this.

Other fuel alternatives include electric, which although green for the environment, does have a number of setbacks. The power used to charge machines and tools is often generated by burning fossil fuels. And battery-powered tech is limited by how long it can hold a charge. This means downtime to recharge equipment, which isn’t ideal when schedules need to stay on track.

Hydrogen has also been making waves across the industry, with JCB and Hyundai investing millions into research. In January 2023, JCB announced that they are developing the world’s first hydrogen engine. An investment of £100 million has seen a team of 100 engineers work on a state of the art combustion engine, that has already come off the production line. And late last year, the UK government put forward a proposal to generate 10 GW of hydrogen energy by 2030.

Some benefits of using hydrogen include its level of efficiency compared to other sources, and its use is non toxic when produced at the correct temperature. However, there are also some downsides.

Hydrogen is expensive, and fossil fuels are needed to produce it. It’s also highly flammable, which makes storage and transportation difficult.

Tradesman Talks

What does the future of affordable fuel look like for your trade? And is space travel worth the time and investment?

As always, leave your comments below, and click the social links to share this article.

Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson has an MA in Creative Writing and has been crafting content for over a decade. He writes for a range of niches, including the construction industry and insurance sector. Mark has worked internationally as a content writer and teacher.

All articles by Mark McPherson

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