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Zero-emissions rocket power for Bloodhound land speed record car

The Bloodhound land speed record car will be powered by a zero-emissions rocket as part of an environmentally conscious design overhaul.

The new rocket works by pumping concentrated hydrogen peroxide through a catalyst at high pressure. This produces steam and oxygen, which will generate the thrust needed to power Bloodhound to a new land speed record.

The existing record of 763mph was set by ThrustSSC in 1997. During last year’s high-speed testing programme at the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa, Bloodhound reached 628mph on jet-power alone. It is hoped that the addition of the rocket, designed by Norwegian company Nammo and originally conceived to launch small satellites into space, will enable Bloodhound to exceed 800mph.

Another change that helps boost Bloodhound’s environmental credentials is replacing the Jaguar V8 engine that would have acted as the fuel pump for the rocket with an electric motor and battery pack to supply the hydrogen peroxide. The team are also considering running Bloodhound’s Rolls Royce EJ200 jet engine on biofuel.

Explaining the changes to the car’s design, Ian Warhurst, CEO of Bloodhound LSR, cited the need to use “relevant technologies” to inspire more young people to pursue a career in engineering.

Warhurst is currently trying to raise the £8 million needed for Bloodhound to make a land speed record attempt in 2021.

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