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Non-Toxic Ionic Liquid Fuels for Exploration Applications

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Non-Toxic Ionic Liquid Fuels for Exploration Applications
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CA72C
Award Amount: $600,000.00


ORBITEC proposes to develop and test new, non-toxic ionic liquid fuels for propulsion applications. Vintage propulsion systems frequently use highly toxic propellants such as MMH. The toxicity of these propellants increases not only the risk of the missions but also the expense, due to special handling required during the entire lifetime of the propellant. Replacing toxic propellants with strong-performing, non-toxic formulations will significantly reduce the cost of propulsion systems. The Phase I project demonstrated the feasibility of developing several ionic liquid formulations that essentially equaled MMH in performance while offering low volatility and low toxicity. The Phase II work will continue the synthesis strategy to refine the formulations, conduct more extensive material property testing, conduct ignition delay tests, and demonstrate the fuels in a small-scale thruster. The collective result of these tasks will be the development and demonstration of new, safer fuels for propulsion applications.

Principal Investigator:

Millicent Coil
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Eric E. Rice
Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corporation
WI Madison, WI 53717-1961

EIN/Tax ID: 391628664
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No