Catalytic N2O Decomposition for Piloted Scramjet Ignition

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$750,000.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
FA8650-10-C-2097
Award Id:
92942
Agency Tracking Number:
F083-121-1852
Solicitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF083-121
Solicitation Number:
2008.3
Small Business Information
19039 E. Plaza Dr., Suite 290, Parker, CO, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
196231166
Principal Investigator:
DavidWickham
Principal Investigator
(720) 352-7161
wickham@reactionsystemsllc.com
Business Contact:
ToddLeeson
Chief Financial Officer
(303) 881-7992
tleeson@reactionsystemsllc.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
High speed air breathing engines can deliver payloads with vehicles that are smaller and lighter than rocket powered vehicles. Unfortunately, ignition and flame holding in scramjet engines has proven to be difficult, particularly with cold hardware and low-volatility fuels such as JP-7. Although methods to improve ignition and flame holding have been evaluated, improvements are still needed. A very effective way to improve scramjet performance would be to catalytically decompose nitrous oxide into a very hot, about 2500 degrees F, mixture of oxygen and nitrogen which could be used either in a pilot ignition flame or in a barbotage fuel injector. Unfortunately, traditional catalysts cannot withstand this temperature without losing their activity very rapidly. However, Reaction Systems has developed thermally stable catalysts that have high initial activity and will remain active after exposure to these extreme temperatures. In Phase I, we showed that our catalysts met the criteria for this application and we produced conceptual designs of an N2O storage and delivery system and a counter flow catalytic heat exchanger/reactor. The overall objective of the Phase II project is to advance the technology to the point that we can demonstrate the effectiveness of N2O decomposition on a scramjet ground test engine. BENEFIT: The most immediate application of our catalyst technology would be to improve the performance of engines that power high speed, short flight duration vehicles. An effective ignition or fuel atomization system would greatly improve ignition reliability, flame stability, and overall performance. An effective N2O decomposition system could be used to provide breathing air for a variety of applications including firefighting and diving potentially reducing weight, providing increased maneuverability, and larger air inventories. In addition thermally stable catalysts needed for this application could also find use in the power generation industry where a catalyst could reduce NOX emissions by permitting operation under very lean conditions which reduces combustion temperature.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites


SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government