Visitors to the Defence and Security Trade event, DSEI, (12th-15th September 2017, ExCel, London) will be able to see for themselves a new fuel made from sugar beet which British soldiers are now using to heat their combat rations and warm their drinks.
Cardiff-based survival equipment manufacturers, BCB International has developed the world’s first solid bio-ethanol fuel called ‘FireDragon’. Following extensive laboratory and field trials, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to replace traditional hexamine fuel tablets with the novel ‘FireDragon’ fuel which is made in Great Britain.
BCB International’s 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. The FireDragon fuel boasts many features. It is made from sustainable natural ingredients, it is non-toxic, burns cleanly, can be ignited even when wet and if necessary can be used as a hand cleanser.”
Many Armies worldwide are still issuing their soldiers with hexamine fuel tablets. But as Andrew Howell explained, the British Army’s decision to make the switch to ‘FireDragon’ has encouraged other Armies to rethink their military rations heating fuel: “There is a growing body of evidence about the health risks associated with hexamine based fire-lighting fuels. This combined with the UK MoD’s decision to use a superior alternative, has led to those in charge of combat feeding programmes in other armies to reconsider hexamine’s suitability as a fuel for the future.
“We are currently in discussions with several armies that are 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.
BCB International will exhibit the ‘FireDragon’ fuel on its stand (N5-200).