Nanocatalysts for Hydrocarbon-Fueled Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) Engines

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-06-C-0084
Agency Tracking Number: F064-019-0548
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: AF06-T019
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2021 Miller Dr., Suite B, Longmont, CO, 80501
DUNS: 130993384
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Oleg Polyakov
 Sr. Scientist
 (720) 494-8401
 opolyakov@synkera.com
Business Contact
 Stephen Williams
Title: President and CTO
Phone: (720) 494-8401
Email: swilliams@synkera.com
Research Institution
 COLORADO STATE UNIV.
 Arundeep S Pradhan
 CSU Research Foundation
Fort Collins, CO, 80521
 (970) 482-2916
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project involves the development of homogeneous catalysts for cracking of hydrocarbon fuel. Future concept space vehicles employ regeneratively cooled engines which rely on the fuel to absorb engine heat to ensure survival of the engine structure at a high temperature. Using the fuel to absorb heat and burning the hot fuel efficiently keeps the heat in the cycle. For hydrocarbons, deliberate fuel cracking significantly enhances the heat sink capability of the fuel. The use of a soluble catalyst is preferred over wall-mounted catalysts because it reduces the need to develop specialized components and can be applied to a variety of platforms and configurations. The proposed catalysts - superacids- will be (1) very soluble in liquid paraffins, excluding the possibility of precipitation or aggregation and concomitant interference with the working engine; (2) highly active in catalytic cracking of hydrocarbons, including paraffins; (3) capable of thermal activation and therefore will not exhibit the corrosiveness of common superacids; (4) molecular catalysts and therefore will have all the advantageous of properties reproducibility and performance consistence; (5) inexpensive to produce in bulk and will be amenable to mass-production; (6) environmentally benign from the standpoint of ozone depletion.

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

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