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Rocket fuel, which is a cleaner, more secure and yet full of energy



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The research published this week in Science Advances shows that it is possible to create rocket fuel, which is much cleaner and safer than the hypergolic fuel that is commonly used today. And yet, it's just as effective. The new fuel uses simple chemical triggers to unlock the energy of one of the hottest new materials, a class of porous solids known as organometallic structures, or MOF. MOFs consist of clusters of metal ions and an organic molecule, which is called a linker.

Satellites and space stations that remain in orbit for a considerable time rely on hypergols, energy that is so energetic that they are immediately ignited in the presence of an oxidizer (since there is no oxygen to support combustion outside the Earth's atmosphere). Hypergolic fuels, which are currently mainly used, depend on hydrazine, a highly toxic and dangerously unstable chemical compound consisting of a combination of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. Hydrazine-based fuel is so carcinogenic that people working with it should come up as if they are preparing themselves for space travel. Despite precautionary measures, the aerospace industry annually releases about 1

2,000 tons of hydrazine fuels into the atmosphere. but they also react or burn very quickly, which is a significant quality in rocket fuel, "says Tomislav Frischic. He is a professor at the McGill School of Chemistry and co-author on paper with former McGill researcher Robin D. Rogers.




it is possible to create rocket fuel, which is much cleaner and safer than the hypergolic fuel that is commonly used today. And yet, it's just as effective. "Although we are still in the early stages of working with these materials in the laboratory, these results open the possibility of developing a class of new, clean, and highly regulated hyperholic fuels for the aerospace industry." said the first author, Hatem Titi, a post-doctoral worker who works in the Friščić laboratory.

Friscis is interested in commercializing this technology and will work with McGill and Acsynam, an existing company from his laboratory to do this.


Greener fuels for launching rocket launches into space


Additional information:
"Hypergolic frames of imidazolate zeolite (ZIF) as solid fuel of the next generation: unlocking the hidden energetic behavior of ZIF" Scientific achievements (2019). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.aav9044, http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/4/eaav9044

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Rocket fuel, which is a cleaner, more secure and yet full of energy (April 2019, April 5)
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