Thermal Decomposer for Peroxide

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: DASG6003P0293
Agency Tracking Number: 03-0032T
Amount: $69,976.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
603 East Robinson Street, Suite 7, Carson City, NV, 89701
DUNS: 006620553
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Curtis Johnson
 (775) 885-0139
Business Contact
 Margo Hornung
Title: Administrator
Phone: (775) 885-8483
Research Institution
 James L Bates
 330 Thomas Boyd Hall, Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA, 70803
 (225) 578-3386
 Nonprofit college or university
Sierra Engineering Inc. (Sierra) proposes to perform the fundamental research necessary to understand the thermal decomposition kinetics of High Test Peroxide (HTP) and its interactions with common stabilizers, in order to produce a practical thermaldecomposer. The utilization of HTP as rocket propellant can be greatly simplified by using a thermal decomposer rather than a catalyst bed for decomposition. Catalyst beds are efficient for decomposing peroxide, but are subject to fouling by stabilizersand inhibitors. Since stabilizers and inhibitors must be used to prevent long-term thermal decomposition at ambient temperatures, purposeful thermal decomposition must be carefully controlled, i.e. thermal stability is needed at ambient temperature andcomplete decomposition is required at high temperature. Fundamental knowledge of decomposition kinetics must be developed to expedite decomposer design. A thermodynamic analysis of self-reactivity and a reaction kinetics model for thermally decomposingHTP, and stability and inhibitor modifications thereof, will be made. Conceptual design of a practical thermal decomposer will also be accomplished during the Phase I investigation. The Phase II effort would provide validation of the hypothesizeddecomposition mechanism, a definitive design of a thermal decomposer, and a demonstration of its performance. The innovation is elimination of the catalyst bed in HTP devices including rocket engines and chemical lasers. Eliminating the life-limitingcatalyst bed reduces the system weight and cost, and allows the concentration of stabilizers and/or corrosion inhibitors to be increased, enhancing the handling safety of HTP. Furthermore, the detailed understanding of HTP decomposition chemistrydeveloped during this investigation would allow more creative, safe, and efficient designs of HTP combustion devices. The final product of this investigation shall be a prototype of a thermal decomposer for HTP.

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

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