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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Non-Toxic Ionic Liquid Fuels for Exploration Applications

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Non-Toxic Ionic Liquid Fuels for Exploration Applications
ORBITEC proposes to develop and test new, non-toxic ionic liquid fuels for propulsion applications. Vintage propulsion systems frequently use highly toxic propellants such as MMH. The toxicity of these propellants increases not only the risk of the missions but also the expense, due to special handling required during the entire lifetime of the propellant. Replacing toxic propellants with strong-performing, non-toxic formulations will significantly reduce the cost of propulsion systems. The Phase I project demonstrated the feasibility of developing several ionic liquid formulations that essentially equaled MMH in performance while offering low volatility and low toxicity. The Phase II work will continue the synthesis strategy to refine the formulations, conduct more extensive material property testing, conduct ignition delay tests, and demonstrate the fuels in a small-scale thruster. The collective result of these tasks will be the development and demonstration of new, safer fuels for propulsion applications. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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