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Thermal Decomposer for Peroxide

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
603 East Robinson Street Suite 7 Carson City, NV -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Thermal Decomposer for Peroxide
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: DASG6003P0293
Award Amount: $69,976.00


Sierra Engineering Inc. (Sierra) proposes to perform the fundamental research necessary to understand the thermal decomposition kinetics of High Test Peroxide (HTP) and its interactions with common stabilizers, in order to produce a practical thermaldecomposer. The utilization of HTP as rocket propellant can be greatly simplified by using a thermal decomposer rather than a catalyst bed for decomposition. Catalyst beds are efficient for decomposing peroxide, but are subject to fouling by stabilizersand inhibitors. Since stabilizers and inhibitors must be used to prevent long-term thermal decomposition at ambient temperatures, purposeful thermal decomposition must be carefully controlled, i.e. thermal stability is needed at ambient temperature andcomplete decomposition is required at high temperature. Fundamental knowledge of decomposition kinetics must be developed to expedite decomposer design. A thermodynamic analysis of self-reactivity and a reaction kinetics model for thermally decomposingHTP, and stability and inhibitor modifications thereof, will be made. Conceptual design of a practical thermal decomposer will also be accomplished during the Phase I investigation. The Phase II effort would provide validation of the hypothesizeddecomposition mechanism, a definitive design of a thermal decomposer, and a demonstration of its performance. The innovation is elimination of the catalyst bed in HTP devices including rocket engines and chemical lasers. Eliminating the life-limitingcatalyst bed reduces the system weight and cost, and allows the concentration of stabilizers and/or corrosion inhibitors to be increased, enhancing the handling safety of HTP. Furthermore, the detailed understanding of HTP decomposition chemistrydeveloped during this investigation would allow more creative, safe, and efficient designs of HTP combustion devices. The final product of this investigation shall be a prototype of a thermal decomposer for HTP.

Principal Investigator:

Curtis Johnson

Business Contact:

Margo Hornung
Small Business Information at Submission:

Sierra Engineering, Inc.
603 East Robinson Street, Suite 7 Carson City, NV 89701

EIN/Tax ID: 880391383
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
330 Thomas Boyd Hall, Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Contact: James L. Bates
Contact Phone: (225) 578-3386
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university