SPAIN’S first advanced biofuels plant- opening in Cartagena next year- will look to make sustainable fuel for reusable space rockets being made by Elche’s PLD Space.

Repsol’s €200 million project at its existing refinery site at the Escombreras Valley will have the capacity to produce 250,000 tons of biofuels annually by recycling waste like cooking oil and non-food crops.

The fuel giant has now signed an agreement with PLD Space to promote the use of biofuels in their rockets.

The alliance will see feasibility studies conducted to replace current rocket fuels with others produced with sustainable raw materials.

New types of fuel will also be made to measure at the Repsol Technology Lab for the propellants of the rockets manufactured by PLD Space.

Rockets currently use liquid kerosene similar to that used in civil aviation, or a specific type for rockets called RP-1

The challenge is to come up with new renewable fuels which would reduce the carbon footprint by at least 90%.

Product design senior manager at the Repsol Lab, Javier Aríztegui, said the collaboration presented ‘a great opportunity’ to use the firm’s knowledge acquired over the years to develop a sustainable fuel for rockets

PLD Space co-founder Rau Verdu, stated that his company wants to ‘continue investigating all of the alternatives that allow us to reduce our carbon footprint’.

The firm is developing two reusable craft, the Miura 1 suborbital and the Miura 5 orbital, intended to provide commercial launching services to customers around the world.

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