Microchannel reactor based treatment of rocket propellant derived waste
Small Business Information
Makel Engineering, Inc.
1585 Marauder St., Chico, CA, 95973
AbstractMakel Engineering proposes to investigate the use of microchannel reactor technology for the small scale treatment of rocket propellant derived waste. Research labs associated with development of propulsion systems regularly generate small amounts of waste from propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics (PEP). This proposal addresses the topic''s needs, by providing a PEP waste treatment system that can be cost effectively and safely used as an alternative for open burn/open detonation (OBOD), and in situations where OBOD is not viable. The use of microchannel technology enables the miniaturization of chemical processes that otherwise would not be feasible in small scale. Thermal and mass diffusion distances in microchannel reactors range from tens to hundreds of microns versus tens to hundreds of millimeters in conventional reactors. Slow heat and mass transfer dominate the operation of conventional reactor designs. Microchannel reactor technology also enables effect removal of heat, and precise control of reaction, two factors of great importance for destruction approaches involving rapid release of heat. The microchannel architecture also provides a great platform for incorporation of multiple processing steps. It is envisioned that the destruction process will consist of multiple steps: primary destruction, followed by secondary processing to convert byproducts into non-hazardous waste. BENEFITS: Military: A cost effective and safe solution for disposal of rocket propellant, explosive and pyrophoric derived wastes will enable installation of disposal systems at military rocket propellant development lab facilities that lack permitted OBOD facilities. A microchannel based solution is particularly suitable for portability, enabling the use for disposal of unexploded ordinance on the field. Commercial: This effort will benefit laboratories working with highly energetic materials that lack permitted OBOD facilities or that possess inadequate annual limits on RCRA Part B subpart X (OBOD) permits. As it is not uncommon to use pyrophoric components for highly specialized small scale organic synthesis, the availability of a safe and cost effect system for disposal will enable many laboratories to dispose of its own waste, rather than having to contract out to third parties. A secondary commercial application is for manufacturers of low-order energetic pyrotechnics (fireworks, road and boating flares, etc.).
* information listed above is at the time of submission.