UK military and survival equipment innovator BCB International has won a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to supply environmentally-friendly fuel for cooking and reducing the British Army’s carbon footprint.
The fuel called ‘FireDragon’ will be supplied to the British Army with a foldable cooker for heating rations when troops are on operations.
According to BCB International, the UK Armed Forces have already burned through two million packs in the first years of the contract, leading to the renewal.
Team Leidos, which manages commodity procurement, storage and distribution for the MOD, said: “The ethanol fuel blocks have proved convenient and effective, and the individual cooking system is highly regarded by British Troops.”
The fuel, made in the UK, is said to burn hotter than comparable solid fuels allowing soldiers to cook meals faster and is made from ‘renewable waste vegetation’.
The British Army previously used hexamine fuel which is known to be a toxic substance. BCB’s FireDragon replaced Hexamine when it was awarded a four-year contract for the fuel in 2015.
A chemist from BCB International expressed the advantages of the fuel saying: “Hexamine emits cyanide and a lot of noxious fumes such as formaldehyde and nitrogen oxides when it burns.
“Formaldehyde and ammonia are also used in its production, bringing their own hazards. Hexamine produces a lot of carbon monoxide, especially when compared to FireDragon. FireDragon, by contrast, emits no formaldehyde or cyanide.”
BCB International’s new contract with the MOD will again cover four years with the company saying that other European militaries are currently in the process of evaluating the fuel.
BCB International produces equipment for military and civilian purposes and has operated for over 160 years. The company first became known in military circles for developing the first life raft survival kit.
The company is known for a range of products including shark repellent, ballistic shielding underwear known as ‘blast boxers’, FireDragon fuel and more conventional equipment such as vests, boots, and tools.