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Thermally-Stable Catalysts for Methane Reforming to Improve Combustion and Increase Heat Sink Capacity

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-07-C-2722
Agency Tracking Number: F061-188-2332
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF06-188
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2007
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2007-03-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-07-12
Small Business Information
12345 W. 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
United States
DUNS: 181947730
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Senior Chemist
 (303) 940-2350
Business Contact
 John Wright
Title: Vice President
Phone: (303) 940-2300
Research Institution

Liquefied methane is a promising alternative to JP-7 and hydrogen as a fuel for hypersonic vehicles because it is easier to handle than hydrogen and also has a higher specific impulse and is more resistant to coke than JP-7. Unfortunately, methane is difficult to burn in a scramjet and needs to deliver more heat sink capacity to be useful. However, reforming some of the fuel with water improves combustion and increases heat sink capacity. In Phase I we developed catalysts that are active and stable under representative conditions, showed that the Isp and heat sink capacity of reformed methane are higher than those of JP-7, and finally developed a predictive kinetic model of the reaction. In Phase II, TDA will optimize the catalyst formulation to maximize activity and stability over many cycles of testing, characterize the catalysts before and after use, measure reaction kinetics at high pressure, demonstrate performance in a high heat flux conditions, refine the predictive kinetic model, and carry out a more comprehensive systems analysis. Finally, TDA will design, construct, and deliver a system that will generate a fuel mixture representative of that expected with reformed methane for use in the scramjet facility at WPAFB.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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