Thermal Decomposer for Peroxide

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: F04611-03-M-3207
Agency Tracking Number: 03-0058T
Amount: $69,896.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 3874, West Lafayette, IN, 47996
DUNS: 132073946
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Benjamin Austin
 General Manager/Engineer
 (765) 409-0456
Business Contact
 Amy Austin
Title: Business Manager
Phone: (765) 464-3288
Research Institution
 Stephen Heister
 315 North Grant St.
West Lafayette, IN, 47907
 (765) 494-5126
 Nonprofit college or university
Thermal decomposition of hydrogen peroxide may provide significant weight, operability, envelope, and cost benefits over traditional catalytic decomposition units used in propulsion and energy systems. However, no proven methods exist for the design ofreliable and efficient thermal decomposition devices. A validated engineering design model and definition of safe operating regimes are pressing needs. IN Space has teamed with Purdue University in this proposal to develop an existing one-dimensionalmodel into an engineering model that can be used for design analysis of thermal decomposition devices, and to use that model to develop preliminary conceptual designs for efficient thermal decomposition devices. Five tasks are proposed: define a designparameter trade space; develop a model that takes into account mass transfer, heat transfer, and chemical kinetics; use the model to assess basic thermal decomposer designs; experimentally determine thermal decomposition rate constants in isothermal tubereactor tests; define the boundaries of safe and reliable operation; and identify enabling technologies necessary for successful development. The advantages of a device that thermally decomposes hydrogen peroxide aresignificant. The use of stabilized hydrogen peroxide will allow longerperoxide storage, longer useable engine life, and safer storage and use.Without concern for fouling the catalyzed material inside a catalyst bed,a thermal decomposer could be designed so that it can be disassembled andinspected which would allow for prediction of part failure and forpreventative maintain to be performed.Department of Defense projects that would directly benefit from a thermaldecomposition device are the Liquid Target System and Airborne Laserprograms. Developing and validating these systems as well as trainingpersonnel to use them provide a considerable market for such a device.Civilian aerospace could significantly benefit from a thermal decomposerby using it as a gas generator for emergency/auxiliary power units ordriving turbopumps in a liquid feed system. The private sector could alsouse thermally decomposed peroxide for a staged bipropellant booster as inthe Liquid Target System. The IN Space/Purdue team has obtained agreements with Northrop-Grumman Space Technology and FMC, leaders in their respective fields of hydrogen peroxide-based propulsion and production, to advise the development of the thermaldecomposition device.

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

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