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Soluble nano-catalysts for high performance fuels

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Journal of Russian Laser Research Aims and scope


Currently, there is a strong need to develop new weapons systems that incorporate advanced propulsion technologies. However, these systems place severe demands on combustion and thus methods to improve combustion by reducing ignition delay or widening the stable flame conditions are also required. Although a catalyst would allow combustion to begin at lower temperatures, it is not practical to install a catalyst in an engine combustor. Therefore, new methods for contacting the catalyst with the fuel/air mixture are required. TDA Research Inc. (TDA) developed catalysts that are soluble in fuel and therefore can be injected directly into the combustor. We used proprietary technology to synthesize catalysts containing a variety of metals that have solubilities of over 1000 ppm in representative fuel compounds. We found that the most active catalysts produced substantial improvements in combustion activity for both JP-10 and a surrogate JP-5. The addition of only 5 ppm catalyst to the surrogate JP-5 reduced the temperature required to initiate combustion by about 300°C. These results demonstrate that a soluble catalyst has the potential to significantly reduce the ignition delay and also to widen the range of stable flame conditions.

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Based on a talk presented at the Second International Symposium on Nonequilibrium Processes, Combustion, and Atmospheric Phenomena (Dagomys, Sochi, Russia, October 3–7, 2005).

Manuscript submitted by the author in English on February 6, 2006.

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Wickham, D.T., Cook, R., de Voss, S. et al. Soluble nano-catalysts for high performance fuels. J Russ Laser Res 27, 552–561 (2006).

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