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Exotic rocket fuels

edwest

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In my ongoing research, I've run across various terms like "high energy gas" as a reference to the propellant. My research primarily concerns developments in the 1950s. So, aside from liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, what other gases were used? On a related note, aside from nitiric acid and hydrazine, I've also seen references to propellants containing a copper compound. Any books, articles or other leads on the latter would be much appreciated.




Thanks,
Ed
 

Orionblamblam

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edwest said:
In my ongoing research, I've run across various terms like "high energy gas" as a reference to the propellant. My research primarily concerns developments in the 1950s. So, aside from liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, what other gases were used?
I suspect you're l;ooking at the wrong end of the system. "liquid" oxygen is, by definition, not a gas. The "high energy gas" probably refers not to the propellant, but to the exhaust. Coudl be a chemical rocket,a nuclear rocket or an ion engine.


I've also seen references to propellants containing a copper compound.
Seems unlikely... copper doesn't add much of anything. Boron-based fuels, on the other hand, can be impressively energetic, and have a green flame similar to what you'd get burning copper. Boron has an atomic weight of 10.9, while copper tips the scales at 63.5... a copper-based fuel would *suck.*
 

sferrin

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LH / fluorine was looked at. Better than LH/LOX apparently.
 

Nik

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Fluorine !!
Ugh...

A former colleague left her previous job after a friend lost an arm to a pin-prick glove-leak of pure fluorine or HF: Prompt high amputation saved his life...
--

Several years ago, I did some library searching to find what would dissolve in liquid Ammonia --NOT ammonia solution-- and react well with the excess water in 'medium-test' peroxide ie middling-scary instead of explosive.

I knew about sodium and potassium and their 'metallic' phase, but I was hoping for Magnesium. Corrosive effects, yes, 'metallic' solution, no. Sadly, there's very little literature on that aspect, and the labs I contacted must have filed me under 'crank'...
 

mz

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FLOX, a mixture of fluorine and oxygen as oxidizer. Has been used in RL-10 engine tests. Don't know what was the fuel used with it.
http://yarchive.net/space/rocket/fuels/fluorine.html
FLOX-70 is 70% fluorine, 30% oxygen.
 

agricola64

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liquid acetylene and liquid ozone

high density and exceptional energy content .. but unfortunately just a little bit sensitive ..

servus

markus
 

edwest

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Thank you, everyone. Appreciate it.




Ed
 

agricola64

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mz said:
FLOX, a mixture of fluorine and oxygen as oxidizer. Has been used in RL-10 engine tests. Don't know what was the fuel used with it.
http://yarchive.net/space/rocket/fuels/fluorine.html
FLOX-70 is 70% fluorine, 30% oxygen.
most likley LH2 ..

"smell that HF smell? i love the smell of hydroflouridic acid in the morning .. smells like .. death .."
 

Michel Van

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during WW2 to 1950 they test all possibly combination

Fluorine was consider as high energy oxidiser

NACA look into Fluorine with Hydrogene, half volume of Lox/Lh2
USAF look into Fluorine with Hydrazine, minimum volume with performance of Lox/Lh2

they build prototype like GE X-430 and Rocketdyne G-1
is it true that Aerojet LR87 also run on Fluorine with Hydrogene ?

but NACA became NASA
and the Silverstein committee look on the programs
and give counsel concentrate on the oxygen / hydrogen engine.

one reason was one accident at engine Testrun Fluorine with Hydrogene
there was a delay of 45 minute
in that time the Fluorine found a weakspot in tank a seal and corrode it !
then damage the teststand and left a one foot deep trench in concrete.

other reason were: to Toxic: deathly hydroflouridic acid , to expensive, difficult to store
USAF change there objective away for cyrogene propellants to long storage of Titan II

source:
“Stage to Saturn” by Roger E. Bilstein, capther 5
http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4206/sp4206.htm
“LIQUID HYDROGREN AS A PROPULSION FUEL, 1945-1959″ by John L. Sloop
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4404/cover.htm
 

Desert Dawn

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mz said:
FLOX, a mixture of fluorine and oxygen as oxidizer. Has been used in RL-10 engine tests. Don't know what was the fuel used with it.
http://yarchive.net/space/rocket/fuels/fluorine.html
FLOX-70 is 70% fluorine, 30% oxygen.
Also the ATLAS engine tests and a small engine for an experimental sat launched by Lockheed. And the Rocketdyne AMPS-1 annular aerospike engine. The Lockheed FDL-5 manned lifting-body sat-killer used that fuel in its AMPS-1 engine (it also had an optionnal storable engine that would have used nitrogen tetroxide, for long term live storage of the spacecraft so it could be deployed in a short time span if an urgent need did arise).

There are more details on my website and in the more than 10 pages of documentation and research accompanying each model kit of my FDL-5 spacecraft.

Website: http://picturetrail.com/stratospheremodels
 

bobbymike

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If you Google word combinations like "Advanced Energetic Materials", "Advanced Solid Rocket Liquid Rocket Propulsion" etc. Takes some looking but you can find some good stuff (you will find a lot of papers on explosives but they can be interested as well). :eek:
 

Howedar

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Here is the obligatory reference to chlorine trifluoride (!!!) (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

”It is, of course, extremely toxic, but that's the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water-with which it reacts explosively. It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals-steel, copper, aluminium, etc.-because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride which protects the bulk of the metal, just as the invisible coat of oxide on aluminium keeps it from burning up in the atmosphere. If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes.”

Reading this full page, containing the above quote from John Clark's Ignition, is highly recommended. I don't want to spoil the rest of the fun.
 

Michel Van

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Chlorine trifluoride (!!!)

that stuff try the Wehrmacht in WW2 as fuel for flamethrowers !
because its extremely toxic and hyperbolic with every thing.
like the flamethrower and guy using it, so the Wehrmacht abandon this stuff fast...
 

Michel Van

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I found a book for edwest quest on 1950 Rocketfuel

Rocket Propulsion Elements, 2nd edition from 1956
by George p. Sutton
publisher: John Wiley & Sons, inc
Library of Congress catalog card number: 56-8697

Even today this book is very good !

here list of Fuel and Oxidiser from Book

Aniline
Ammonia
Aluminum Borohydride
Chlorine Trifluoride
Diethylene Triamine
Ethly Nitrate
Ethylene Oxide
Fluorine
Hydrazine hydrate
Isoprpyl Alcohol
Ethyl Alcohol (used in V-2 Rockets)
Methyl Alcohol
Methane
Methyl Amine
Nitrogen Teroxide (used in Proton Rockets)
Nitromethan
Nitroglycerine !!!
Ozone
Propane
n-Propyl Nitrate
Turpentine (used by French Veronique and Diamant A rockets)
Hydro Peroxide (used by the British in Black Knight and Black Arrow)
Hydrogene (used in To days Rockets)
Hydrocarbon Fuels (used in To days Rockets)

the list shows that easy to used Fuels are winner
while the problematic stuff are the losers
 

edwest

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Thank you for that book reference. That's what I'm looking for.





Ed
 

Skybolt

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Well, as far as bibliographical references go, the standard one is "Handbook of Astronautical Engineering", H.H. Koelle, Editor, McGraw Hill, New York, Toronto, London, 1961, Ch. 17-21. Should be found in every technical library. Or you can go down the used books path (expensive but feasible). You'll receive hearthbreaking hits on the demise of large parts of the astronautics industrial base: my copy comes from the disbanded research library of Martin Denver facility.
 

mz

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Well the basic standard is Sutton's "Rocket Propulsion Elements" that has many editions. A good, if old, source for chemistry seems to be Clark's "Ignition" (hard to get). Then there's Huzel & Huang's NASA SP-125: "The Design of Liquid Propellant Rockets", a more technical rocket engine design book that's available for free on NTRS.
http://www.spl.ch/publication/sp125.html
 

Skybolt

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Oh, yes, but the Koelle directed work has much more exotica in it....
 

sferrin

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Sutton's is up to the 7th Edition. One of my favorite books. :)
 

Nik

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Murphy must have blinked...

Murray Leinster's Space/Platform fiction ~1953, referenced in my 'thankfully they never flew' thread, proposed scary 'Push Pots' jets for zeroth launcher stage, augmented with Be / F2 jatos...

Run Away ! Run Away !
 

sferrin

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agricola64 said:
liquid acetylene and liquid ozone

high density and exceptional energy content .. but unfortunately just a little bit sensitive ..

servus

markus
What about this stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicyanoacetylene

Burns at 9000+ apparently. :eek:
 

agricola64

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sferrin said:
What about this stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicyanoacetylene

Burns at 9000+ apparently. :eek:
just looking at the structural formula makes me shiver ..

but its also a pretty heavy molecule - so i wonder if it has a better Isp then acetylene / ozone
 

Michel Van

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sferrin said:
What about this stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicyanoacetylene

Burns at 9000+ apparently. :eek:
that's in Fahrenheit or +4990 °C

high Temperate not guarantor for good rocket fuel
that stuff has too high Molar mass
means it has accelerate the molecules, but if they to heavy so you get energy losses
Hydrogene and oxygen get low Molar mass of 18 and high energy

only way to make Dicyanoacetylene good fuel is to burn with oxygen
and use hydrogene to cool the engine then inject into burnchamber
the Hydrogen take so much energy as it can
that called a Tripropellant rocket
 

sferrin

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Michel Van said:
sferrin said:
What about this stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicyanoacetylene

Burns at 9000+ apparently. :eek:
that's in Fahrenheit or +4990 °C

high Temperate not guarantor for good rocket fuel
that stuff has too high Molar mass
means it has accelerate the molecules,
It only has to be light on the product side. It could have the density of tungsten but if it's reaction products were light weight then it should be fine. Reading on another site it's apparently fairly sensitive stuff.
 

Michel Van

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here i have nice PDF
about Metall Hydrogene as Rocketfuel
under pressures of order 25 Giga Pascal Hydrogene become a Metall !
in theory it remains a metall under normal pressure until its heated to 4000 °K
ISP 1700 sec against 460 sec for hydrogen/oxygen combustion

http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/215/1/012194/pdf/1742-6596_215_1_012194.pdf

next to that are also
Polymeric nitrogen
http://www.physorg.com/news693.html
and Ultra-dense deuterium up to 140 kg/cubic cm !
http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/05/university-of-gothenberg-making.html

question to Deuterium
was this ever consider as Rocket fuel for Chemical and Nuclear rockets engine ?
 

RanulfC

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Re: Murphy must have blinked...

Nik said:
Murray Leinster's Space/Platform fiction ~1953, referenced in my 'thankfully they never flew' thread, proposed scary 'Push Pots' jets for zeroth launcher stage, augmented with Be / F2 jatos...

Run Away ! Run Away !
But Nik, you didn't actually READ them did you? The BEST part was ALL the propulsion other than "manuevering" jets was SOLID ROCKETS!
He even came up with a way to SWAP motors while in flight! (And had the crew(s) use it a time or two for landings!)

Randy
 

Desert Dawn

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Beer ! :D

I am not joking. There is a science-fiction novel where an astronaut builds a makeshift rocket to get off an asteroid using pressurized beer as fuel. I forgot the name of the author but it`s a well known one and apparently the story is a classic. In the same vein (makeshift rockets if ever you find yourself stranded in a remote place in space some decades in the future and you want to get out of there: anything that can decompose itself thanks to bacterias will generate a lot of gas. Then there is methane produced by you know what... say if you are stranded on a Moon base.

Now i run out of here before i get some flak.
 

Arjen

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That would be Poul Anderson's 'The Makeshift Rocket', in which several kegs of extra foamy Nashornbrau are meant to propel Knud Axel Syrup, his pet crow Claus and a Lederhosen-clad Martian called Sarmishkidu von Himmelschmidt to freedom.
 

OM

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Arjen said:
That would be Poul Anderson's 'The Makeshift Rocket', in which several kegs of extra foamy Nashornbrau are meant to propel Knud Axel Syrup, his pet crow Claus and a Lederhosen-clad Martian called Sarmishkidu von Himmelschmidt to freedom.

...I came close to suggesting "National Lampoon's 'Doon'", but not having read that damned book in over 20 years, I couldn't remember if beer was also used as rocket fuel as well as in place of Melange.


Either way, as much as I despise the stuff, The Beer Must Flow :eek: :p ;)
 
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