Dronamics to pilot Zero Petroleum’s fossil-free fuel


Dronamics is to test a synthetic fossil-free fuel produced by Zero Petroleum to see if it can be used in its long-range cargo drone.

The drone maker plans to create a “sustainable same-day delivery service” — delivering items such e-commerce goods, perishable food and medical supplies.

Zero Petroleum’s fuel, known as ZERO SynAVGAS, will be tested in Dronamics’ Black Swan drone. The fuel is a direct drop-in for fossil-based fuel and delivers the same performance and range.

SynAVGAS is manufactured by extracting hydrogen from water and capturing carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide. When burned it emits exactly the same amount of carbon as is used in its production, creating a fully circular process, according to Zero Petroleum.

Zero Petroleum co-founder and CEO, Paddy Lowe said: “Operating an autonomous delivery network on this scale makes great sense but to carry these heavy payloads over such great distances would be impossible using electric power. Our fossil-free fuels, which have a carbon neutral lifecycle and can be produced in a factory on any site close to water and renewable power, are the ideal way to deliver this as a fully sustainable alternative to the existing air freight solution.”

Dronamics recently became the first drone cargo company to secure a European drone airline license. The firm is also working with a consortium in the UK to build out a medical supply drone network for NHS Scotland.

Svilen Rangelov, Dronamics co-founder and CEO said: “Not only is the fuel entirely sustainable and fossil-free, the modular manufacturing process has a small footprint so it fits perfectly into our future droneport plans, potentially enabling the fuel to be produced on site. We are very excited to work with the team at Zero Petroleum as we move towards commercial operations in the coming year.”

Zero Petroleum’s new partnership with Dronamics follows the signing of a contract in July to work with the Royal Air Force on the development of its fast jet aviation fuel. The UK-based fuel producer completed a second round of funding in July and is in the process of setting up a new technical development facility to commence low volume production of its synthetic fuels.