£1m fund for innovative waste oils recycling technology revealed

Tuesday February 11th, 2020

Defence Minister unveils DASA and RAF contract winners to develop novel technique that could save money and help the environmentFunding

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) can today announce £1m funding for innovative technology to recycle waste aircraft oils and lubricants – saving the Armed Forces money in waste charges whilst delivering environmentally-friendly by-products in the process.
DASA – on behalf of the Royal Air Force – has awarded contracts to three universities and one engineering firm to develop the new technology to turn waste hydrocarbons into recyclable by-products such as water, organic residue for fertilisers, and CO2.
The contracts will build on the innovative concept of recycling waste hydrocarbons utilising microbes, which was developed by a small team from 47 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton.
The team proved that waste oils and lubricants generated from servicing the Squadron’s C-130 Hercules aircraft could be broken down using microbes by a process called bioprocessing.
The team won the RAF 100 Engineering Competition in 2018 with their concept demonstrator, and the project was selected for further funding to develop the concept for the MOD.
As well as being used on military bases, it is intended the technology will be further developed into portable bioprocessing systems for overseas bases and operational deployments. This is the first joint competition run by DASA and the RAF.
DASA – the Ministry of Defence’s innovation hub – finds and funds exploitable technology to give Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and UK security a strategic advantage over adversaries while supporting the nation’s prosperity.
DASA works with scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), academia, and industry to rapidly develop these new technologies.
The organisations awarded contracts are:
The University of Sheffield – nearly £300,000
North Shields-based SME Northern Engineering Solutions Ltd – in collaboration with Northumbria University – nearly £330,000
University College London – around £200,000
Liverpool John Moores University – around £200,000

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