Drone operator and manufacturer Dronamics is partnering with Zero Petroleum to purchase alternative fuel for commercial use of its Black Swan drone.
The fuel, called “Zero Synavgas,” is sustainable, fossil-free direct replacement made from hydrogen and carbon using what the company calls “petrosynthesis,” according to an Oct. 4 release.
“Sustainability is a vital part of our plans and as the first drone cargo airline in the world we are delighted to have secured an agreement for Zero Petroleum to supply their fuel for Dronamics’ future drone network,” Svilen Rangelov, co-founder and chief executive officer of Dronamics, said in the release.
Black Swan cannot be powered by electricity due to of its size, payload and range, Paddy Lowe, co-founder and chief executive of British-based Zero Petroleum, said in the release. Instead, the fuels are a sustainable alternative to biofuels or fuels from waste, the company asserts.
“According to research, transporting cargo using kerosene-fueled belly freight produces 755g CO2 emissions per tonne-km tank to wheels,” according to the release. “In contrast, Dronamics’ drones flown with synthetic fuel will operate in an entirely carbon-neutral process.”
As the fuel burns and emits CO2, it creates the same amount of carbon as captured in its production, creating a truly carbon-neutral flight in terms of fuel.
Zero Petroleum is planning to set up a technical development facility to start production of its synthetic fuels, but did not provide a timeline as to when production will begin. The company also has an agreement with the British Royal Air Force to develop jet fuel, according to the release. Dronamics was unavailable for comment ahead of publication.
Dronamics was the first cargo drone group to be licensed in the European Union and is establishing a medical supply drone network in Scotland. The company operates from Sofia International Airport (SOF), Manheim City Airport (MHG) and Hans Christian Anderson (ODE). The operator also offers middle-mile delivery for Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and DHL.
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