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UK-based BCB International has recently announced that it is working with Innovate UK to set up a factory in Ukraine to produce its FireDragon eco-fuel.

Innovate UK, part of the governmental UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) organisation, gave the Fuel for Ukraine project the go ahead on 1 June 2024.

To speed up and simplify the establishment of the factory in Ukraine, which will ensure the FireDragon fuel’s price point is as low as possible, BCB will be setting up a mirror factory of its site in Cardiff, South Wales. Ukrainian staff and engineers will be trained in Cardiff before the full working production line is transferred to Ukraine with initial stock.

Use of FireDragon fuel in Ukraine is intended to produce benefits in a number of areas. Mostly obviously, Ukrainian troops will be able to use the waterproof fuel to safely cook with in confined spaces such as dugouts on the front line. British troops have been using FireDragon fuel since 2014 because, unlike the previously hexamine fuel, it does not emit toxic gases when burned.

Speaking to ESD on 23 May 2024, BCB managing director Andrew Howell noted that the previous use of Hexamine in confined spaces had even led to fatalities through the inhalation of poisonous cyanide fumes. He also noted that a block of FireDragon fuel can be rubbed on the hands to sterilise them prior to cooking.

Unlike previously used solid fuels like Hexamine, BCB’s FireDragon fuel is safe to use in confined spaces, as burning it does not emit toxic gases. (Photo: BCB)

Beyond the Ukrainian military, FireDragon fuel is also intended to help the 3.7 million displaced people in Ukraine, who are mainly cooking with firewood and sometimes gathering it in heavily mined locations, as well as Ukrainian households suffering from power blackouts as a result of the war.

FireDragon fuel, which can be made from most waste vegetation, is believed to be the only truly environmentally friendly solid fuel in the world. Compared to dry hardwood, burning it produces no methane, 40% less nitrogen oxide, 26% less carbon dioxide and reduces the production of particulates and organic gaseous compounds by 90%.

To speed up the establishment of a FireDragon fuel factory in Ukraine, BCB is setting up a mirror factory of its site in Cardiff, where Ukrainian staff and engineers will be trained before the full working production line is transferred to Ukraine. (Photo: BCB)