Cardiff-based survival equipment manufacturer BCB International Ltd (Stand N5-200) has developed the world’s first solid bioethanol fuel, called FireDragon.
Following extensive laboratory and field trials, the UK’s MoD has decided to replace traditional hexamine fuel tablets with the new fuel, which is made from sugar beet and can be used by soldiers to heat their combat rations and warm their drinks.
Managing director Andrew Howell said: ‘‘Warm food raises a soldier’s morale, energy and concentration levels.
Unfortunately, for far too long soldiers were also unknowingly inhaling toxic fumes each time they used hexamine fuel tablets to cook their food in the field. FireDragon is a safer and cleaner alternative. It is made from sustainable natural ingredients, is non-toxic, burns cleanly, can be ignited even when wet, and if necessary can be used as a hand cleanser.’’
The British Army’s decision to make the switch has encouraged other armies to rethink their military rations of heating fuel, explained Howell: ‘‘There is a growing body of evidence about the health risks associated with hexamine-based fire-lighting fuels. We are currently in discussions with several armies interested in integrating FireDragon into their operational ration packs.’’ The fuel is supplied with a small lightweight cooker, which can be packed with three FireDragon fuel blocks.