Skip to main content
Log in

Enhanced development of a catalyst chamber for the decomposition of up to 1.0 kg/s hydrogen peroxide

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
CEAS Space Journal Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

A new innovative hybrid rocket engine concept is developed within the AHRES program of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). This rocket engine based on hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) with metallic additives as solid fuel and high test peroxide (HTP) as liquid oxidizer. Instead of a conventional ignition system, a catalyst chamber with a silver mesh catalyst is designed to decompose the HTP. The newly modified catalyst chamber is able to decompose up to 1.0 kg/s of 87.5 wt% HTP. Used as a monopropellant thruster, this equals an average thrust of 1600 N. The catalyst chamber is designed using the self-developed software tool SHAKIRA. The applied kinetic law, which determines catalytic decomposition of HTP within the catalyst chamber, is given and commented. Several calculations are carried out to determine the appropriate geometry for complete decomposition with a minimum of catalyst material. A number of tests under steady state conditions are carried out, using 87.5 wt% HTP with different flow rates and a constant amount of catalyst material. To verify the decomposition, the temperature is measured and compared with the theoretical prediction. The experimental results show good agreement with the results generated by the design tool. The developed catalyst chamber provides a simple, reliable ignition system for hybrid rocket propulsion systems based on hydrogen peroxide as oxidizer. This system is capable for multiple reignition. The developed hardware and software can be used to design full scale monopropellant thrusters based on HTP and catalyst chambers for hybrid rocket engines.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15

Similar content being viewed by others

Abbreviations

AHRES:

Advanced Hybrid Rocket Engine Simulation

H2O:

Water

H2O2 :

Hydrogen peroxide

O2 :

Oxygen

HRE:

Hybrid rocket engine

HTPB:

Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene

HTP:

High test peroxide

LRE:

Liquid rocket engine

NTO:

Dinitrogen tetraoxide (N2O4)

SHAKIRA:

Simulation of High test peroxide Advanced (K)catalytic Ignition system for Rocket Applications

A 0 [mol/(s∙kgcat∙K1/2)]:

Zero order reaction const

A 1 [m3/(s∙kgcat∙K1/2)]:

First order reaction const

c p [J/(kg K)]:

Specific heat capacity at constant pressure

c v [J/(kg K)]:

Specific heat capacity at constant volume

c* [m/s]:

Characteristic velocity

E a [J/mol]:

Activation energy

m [kg]:

Mass

\( \dot{m} \) [kg/s]:

Mass flow

M [kg/mol]:

Molar mass

p c [bar]:

Catalyst chamber pressure

r [kg/s]:

Decomposition rate

R [J/(K∙mol)]:

Universal gas const

R i [J/(kg K)]:

Specific gas const

T [K]:

Temperature

x :

Vapor fraction

Γ:

Vandenkerckhove function

Δp [bar]:

Pressure drop

ΔT [K]:

Temperature difference

η ΔT :

Temperature efficiency

η c* :

Characteristic velocity efficiency

κ :

Heat capacity ratio

ρ [kg/m3]:

Density

τ :

Process time interval

ω:

Mass fraction

ad:

Adiabatic

cat:

Catalyst conditions

CB:

Catalyst bed

env:

Environmental

exp:

Experimental value

FL:

Feed line

H2O2 :

Conditions of H2O2

mean:

Average value

max:

Maximum value

theo:

Theoretical value

References

  1. Božić, O., Porrmann, D., Lancelle, D., Hartwig, A.: Program AHRES and its contribution to assess features and current limitations of hybrid rocket propulsion. 63th Congress of International Astronautical Federation, IAC-12-C4. 2.8 (2012)

  2. May, S., Lancelle, D., Porrmann, D.: Mathematical modeling of a high test peroxide catalyst chamber for hybrid rocket engines. 13th ONERA-DLR aerospace symposium (2013)

  3. Pirault-Roy, L., Kappenstein, C., Guérin, M., Eloirdi, R., Pillet, N.: Hydrogen peroxide decomposition on various supported catalysts effect of stabilizers. J. Propuls. Power. 18(6), 1235–1241 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Joksimovix-Tjapkin, S.M., Delic, D.: Kinetics of concentrated hydrogen peroxide decomposition on a rotating disk. Ind. Eng. Chem. Fundam. 12(1), 33–39 (1973)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Lim, H., An, S., Kwon, S., Rang, S.: Hydrogen peroxide gas generator with dual catalytic beds for nonpreheating startup. J. Propuls. Power. 23(5), 1147–1151 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Romeo, L., Torre, L., Pasini, A., d’Agostino, L., Caldarezzo, F.: Comparative characterization of advanced catalytic beds for hydrogen peroxide thrusters. AIAA, Paper 2008-5027 (2008)

  7. Yang, H., Zhang, T., Tian, H., Tang, J., Xu, D., Yang, W., Lin, L.: Effect of Sr substitution on catalytic activity of La1-xSrxMnO3 (0 < x < 0.8) perovskite-type oxides for catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. React. Kinet. Catal. Lett. 73(2), 311–316 (2001)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Torre, L., Pasini, A., Romeo, L., d’Agostiono, L.: Firing performance of advanced hydrogen peroxide catalytic beds in a monopropellant thruster prototype. 44st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE joint propulsion conference and exhibit, AIAA 2008-4932 (2008)

  9. Jonker, W. A., Mayer, A. E. H. J., Zandbergen, B. T. C.: Development of a rocket engine igniter using the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. 3rd ESA international conference on green propellants for space propulsion, SP-635 (2006)

  10. Neumaier, W. W. Jr., Wells, M., Brinkley, A., Talty, T.: Development of a 90% hydrogen peroxide mono-propellant propulsion system for the warm gas test article. 48th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE joint propulsion conference and exhibit, AIAA 2012-3755 (2012)

  11. Gordon, S., McBride, B. J.: NASA—GLENN chemical equilibrium program CEA2. (2004); Refs: NASA RP-1311-Part 1 (1994) and NASA RP-1311-Part 2 (1996)

  12. Walsh, R. F., Sutton, A. M.: Pressure effects on hydrogen peroxide decomposition temperature. 5th Int’l hydrogen peroxide propulsion conference, AFRL-PR-ED-TP-2002-203 (2002)

  13. Božić O., Lancelle, D. M., May, S., Porrman, D.: Experimental evaluation of a high test peroxide catalyst chamber for a hybrid rocket engine, 5th European conference for aeronautics and space sciences (EUCASS), Munich, Germany, 1–5 July 2013

  14. Peroxide propulsion. http://www.peroxidepropulsion.com/. Accessed 29 July 2015

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ognjan Božić.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Božić, O., Porrmann, D., Lancelle, D. et al. Enhanced development of a catalyst chamber for the decomposition of up to 1.0 kg/s hydrogen peroxide. CEAS Space J 8, 77–88 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12567-015-0109-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12567-015-0109-x

Keywords

Navigation