British firm led by an ex-Made in Chelsea star, has completed its first successful test of a rocket engine made from plastic waste.
Pulsar Fusion is a nuclear-fusion company based in Bletchley. It conducted tests in COTEC (a Ministry of Defence military base located in Salisbury) on November 17-18.
Richard Dinan is 35 and the CEO of the company. Dinan appeared on Made in Chelsea in 2012. He also confessed to having eaten with Prince Harry in past years thanks to his royal connections.
Plastic-powered rocket engines could be used for a variety of applications, including launching people and satellites into space, according to Pulsar Fusion.
The firm’s ultimate ambition is to produce a hyper-speed propulsion engine using nuclear fusion technologies for interplanetary travel – which could cut the journey time to Mars in half.
Richard Dinan, a University of Oxford graduate is Pulsar Fusion’s chief executive officer (right). Pulsar Fusion has successfully tested its first high-powered chemical rocket engine capable of launch in the UK using fuel made from recycled plastic.
The company is currently developing a prototype reactor for nuclear fusion. This will create plasma that’s hotter than the sun.
Last week’s test demonstrated ‘impressive visual plume effects’ such as supersonic shock diamonds – the formation of standing wave patterns – which are typical of a high temperature rocket exhaust.
A demonstration by international clients of space will take place in Switzerland, November 25 to follow up on the results from the static test.
Dinan stated that Pulsar was one of very few businesses in the world who have tested and built these technologies.
“We are grateful to a group of outstanding scientists who have vast experience in achieving these landmarks.
“We’ve also attracted talent from some of Britain’s most prestigious universities. They have been testing and working with the plasma thrusters in campus facilities.”
Pulsar Fusion’s rocket engine is a hybrid – meaning it uses rocket propellants in two different phases (one solid and the other either gas or liquid).
High density polyethylene (HDPE) is the fuel for this ‘green’ rocket. It can also be recycled and used to power nitrous oxide. These two fuels combine to form a non-toxic plume.
HDPE is available in recycled plastics, so that items can still be recycled and used to make a potent yet safe rocket fuel.
MailOnline was informed by Dinan that hybrid engines could run on recycled plastic while liquid engines cannot. It is very low in toxicity.
Pulsar Fusion was a UK nucleus fusion company, with a base in Bletchley. They conducted tests at COTEC in Salisbury, which is part of the Ministry of Defence.
This ‘green rocket’ is powered by high density polyethylene, (HDPE), or nitrous dioxide which is called a “hybrid”.
He said that plastic bottles, as well as other trash can be broken down into blocks and loaded into rockets prior to firing.
Dinan, who left school as a 16-year-old at the age of 16, spent 10 years in business before starting to invest in nuclear fusion research in 2013 after his Made in Chelsea appearance.
He started to hire physicists as teachers about thermonuclear science, and has been lecturing on the topic at Oxford University since then.
In September 2021, the UK Government funded Pulsar Fusion to develop its “hall effect thruster” plasma satellite engines. These are capable of 12.5 mile per second particle exhaust speeds.
During tests earlier in the month, the Union flag proudly displayed by the rocket engine (pictured). The rocket engine could be used to launch people or satellites into outer space.
Pulsar Fusion hopes to develop nuclear fusion propulsion engines that can be used for static demonstrations by 2025
Richard Dinan (pictured right) is with his castmates from the third season of Made in Chelsea
Harwell recently put these Pulsar thrusters to the test. The devices were able to withstand 20g vibrations, which simulates a rocket launch.
The company’s ultimate milestone – to produce a hyper-speed propulsion engine for interplanetary travel using nuclear fusion technologies – could be realised in just four years.
Pulsar Fusion aspires to be able to demonstrate static nuclear fusion propulsion engine by 2025.
For reactors, nuclear fusion involves using powerful electromagnets in order to drive reactions.
Pulsar Fusion plans to produce a nuclear fusion rocket engine that will be used to launch and test in orbit between 2027-2027.