Nanocatalysts for Hydrocarbon-Fueled Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) Engines
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project involves the development of homogeneous catalysts for cracking of hydrocarbon fuel. Future concept space vehicles employ regeneratively cooled engines which rely on the fuel to absorb engine heat to ensure survival of the engine structure at a high temperature. Using the fuel to absorb heat and burning the hot fuel efficiently keeps the heat in the cycle. For hydrocarbons, deliberate fuel cracking significantly enhances the heat sink capability of the fuel. The use of a soluble catalyst is preferred over wall-mounted catalysts because it reduces the need to develop specialized components and can be applied to a variety of platforms and configurations. The proposed catalysts - superacids- will be (1) very soluble in liquid paraffins, excluding the possibility of precipitation or aggregation and concomitant interference with the working engine; (2) highly active in catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons, including paraffins; (3) capable of thermal activation and therefore will not exhibit the corrosiveness of common superacids; (4) molecular catalysts and therefore will have all the advantageous of properties reproducibility and performance consistence; (5) inexpensive to produce in bulk and will be amenable to mass-production; (6) environmentally benign from the standpoint of ozone depletion.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
SYNKERA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
2021 Miller Dr., Suite B Longmont, CO 80501
Number of Employees:
COLORADO STATE UNIV.
CSU Research Foundation
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Arundeep S. Pradhan
Nonprofit college or university