Recycled plastic to power a rocket

Currently, plastic has become a big problem for our planet. It is a major source of pollution. Much research is underway to try to find a way to better recycle this material, or even destroy it. In this context, a British start-up is proposing a rather unexpected way to recycle plastic, to use it as rocket fuel.

The startup in question is called Pulsar Fusion and recently it carried out the first ignition test of a hybrid rocket engine that runs partly on recycled plastic. According to New Atlas, the fuel used by the engine consists of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and oxidizing nitrous oxide.

HDPE is used in a wide variety of plastic products such as beverage and detergent bottles.

New in the UK

In an interview, Pulsar Fusion CEO Richard Dinan said they were very happy with the tests that took place in the UK. He added that a test of a British rocket on UK soil was something new. He also indicated that the company is working with a team of “fantastic scientists” with a lot of experience in the field.

This first test of the hybrid engine was carried out last week at the Ministry of Defense military base in Salisbury. The company also conducted an international demonstration for customers working in the space industry on November 25.

What about the fusion engine?

This test on a hybrid engine carried out by Pulsar Fusion was still quite unexpected. Indeed, one of the main objectives of the company is to develop a nuclear fusion propulsion system. With nuclear fusion, it is possible to cut the travel time to Mars in half, and spacecraft will no longer need to carry a large amount of fuel. In fact, nuclear fusion could serve as an almost unlimited source of energy.

According to New Atlas, Pulsar Fusion has plans to demonstrate a fusion engine by the year 2025, and then conduct an orbit test in 2027. But until then, let’s see what. the company intends to make its hybrid engine running on recycled plastic.

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