Hydrogen peroxide for propulsion

AERONAUTICS & SPACE

Propellant

Evonik is a leading supplier of high-concentration hydrogen peroxide specially designed for propulsion applications and sold under the trademark PROPULSE®.


High concentration hydrogen peroxide has been used as a propellant since the middle of the twentieth century. Current uses include hypergolic bi-propellant engines for launch vehicles and mono-propellant systems e.g. to power satellites. Interest in hydrogen peroxide as an environmentally friendly, non cryogenic propellant is increasing again, especially since it has been made commercially available in a high concentrated (>85wt%), high purity form. In a standard liquid-fueled bipropellant rocket engine, the liquid fuel and the oxidant are stored in separate containers. Both of these need to be fed to the rocket engine under high pressure to produce the necessary thrust. This can be achieved by decomposing liquid hydrogen peroxide over a heavy-metal catalyst, resulting in overheated steam and oxygen, which drive the turbo pumps supplying kerosene and liquid oxygen to the rocket engines through impellers and provide herewith the necessary thrust.

When using hydrogen peroxide in monopropellant engines, the gaseous decomposition products are injected directly into the thrust to generate the required driving force for the vehicle. Monopropellant engines using hydrogen peroxide as the fuel are commonly used for air-independent underwater propulsion applications.


PROPULSE® is a high-concentration hydrogen peroxide available from Evonik and is specially designed for propulsion applications.

rocket propulsion challenge

... is to ensure that rockets are supplied with kerosine fast enough during the take-off and thus can overcome gravity on their way into space.

rocket propulsion solution

Highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide which explosively drives the turbo pumps in a rocket: that way sufficient kerosine and liquid oxygen are transported into the combustors.

HYPROGEO logo

Evonik participates in the HYPROGEO project funded by the European commission. The vision of this project is to give the European Union competitive and greener independent access to space.

More insights are available in the project video below!