Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hydrogen Peroxide Could Be Key To Future Power Sources

Date:
November 1, 1999
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Scientists and engineers from around the world will meet in November at Purdue University to discuss hydrogen peroxide's role in developing a new class of environmentally friendly rocket propellants and highly efficient fuel cells for generating electricity.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Scientists and engineers from around the world will meet in November at Purdue University to discuss hydrogen peroxide's role in developing a new class of environmentally friendly rocket propellants and highly efficient fuel cells for generating electricity.

"These are nontoxic, renewable energy sources," said Stephen Heister, Purdue professor of aeronautics and astronautics who helped organize the Second International Hydrogen Peroxide Propulsion Conference, sponsored by the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nov. 7-10.

"Anybody interested in peroxide for power applications will be here," said another conference organizer, John Rusek, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics who specializes in propulsion and power research.

Rusek is trying to develop a high-efficiency fuel cell that generates electricity from hydrogen peroxide and aluminum. Such a device could one day replace conventional batteries and would have many applications, including use by military field personnel who lug around heavy portable electronic equipment. He will discuss that work during the conference, which is expected to draw an international attendance of about 150 researchers, with 29 of them delivering scientific papers. Presentations will be made by officials from the U.S. Navy and Air Force, Joint Services, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as researchers from private industry.

Hydrogen peroxide differs from water only in that it contains two oxygen atoms. It might be used to replace conventional oxidizers, such as liquid oxygen, nitrogen tetroxide and ammonium perchlorate, which are needed to burn rocket fuels.

"Nitrogen tetroxide is one of the oxidizers that we are essentially trying to replace," Heister said. "That's a poisonous gas. If we had some in the room right now, we'd be dying or dead."

Unlike the drugstore version of hydrogen peroxide, which is about 97 percent water, the rocket-propulsion variety has just the opposite concentration -- 3 percent water and 97 percent hydrogen peroxide -- and it has had critical contaminants removed, Heister said.

This purified, concentrated form of H2O2 is broken down with chemical catalysts, yielding oxygen that combusts with alcohol-based fuels, such as methanol or ethanol, which can be derived from corn. Such a propulsion system would provide an inexpensive alternative to today's nonrenewable hydrocarbon fuels that are processed from crude oil, Heister said.

Breaking down peroxide not only would provide oxygen for combustion but also would produce steam, an important byproduct that could be used to run a turbine to generate electricity, Heister said.

Hydrogen peroxide has a history in aviation; for example, it was used in the German V-2 rocket and the experimental X-15 rocket plane.

"It kind of went by the wayside because, at the time, we were seeking the very highest-energy propellants," Heister said. However, new technologies are promising to revive its potential.

Beal Aerospace Technologies Inc. in Texas is planning to develop a complete, three-stage launch vehicle that uses hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer. Its first-stage engine would be the largest rocket engine ever built, producing more than three million pounds of thrust. Meanwhile, NASA and the Air Force are working to develop lower-cost rocket engines using hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer.

###

Related Web sites:

Hydrogen Peroxide Propulsion Conference: http://aae.www.ecn.purdue.edu/AAE/conferences/hydrogenperoxide.html

Beal Aerospace Technologies Inc.: http://www.bealaerospace.com

John Rusek: http://aae.www.ecn.purdue.edu/AAE/Fac_Staff/Faculty/rusek

Stephen Heister: http://Roger.ecn.purdue.edu/~heister


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Hydrogen Peroxide Could Be Key To Future Power Sources." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991101075201.htm>.
Purdue University. (1999, November 1). Hydrogen Peroxide Could Be Key To Future Power Sources. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991101075201.htm
Purdue University. "Hydrogen Peroxide Could Be Key To Future Power Sources." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991101075201.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins