TSU physicists have created one of the most efficient rocket fuels
18.12.2019

Scientists at the Faculty of Physics and Engineering, working with the Tomsk company Scientific and Production Center Chemical Technologies, have created and tested an improved model of a hybrid rocket engine. New fuel components that increased its main characteristic - calorie content, and therefore efficiency - were synthesized.

The staff of the TSU Department of Mathematical Physics carried out a project to improve the design of a solid-fuel hybrid rocket engine and the fuel that is used in such engines. Scientists have mathematically modeled an optimized engine and made fuel compositions based on aluminum diboride and dodecaboride. This is one of the most promising areas in the world for increasing fuel efficiency.

Rocket fuel with the addition of the components proposed by TSU specialists is distinguished by the highest calorific value, and this is precisely what characterizes the fuel efficiency.

As Alexander Zhukov, professor at the Department of Mathematical Physics, said, boron is the highest-energy solid component known today, but directly introducing it into the fuel is inefficient because a dense oxide film is formed and this leads to a high degree of burning out. But in combination with aluminum, boron burns well and increases energy.

- What is widely used today in rocket fuel is not chemical compounds, but, as a rule, a mixture of aluminum and boron. These are completely different things. Our technique for the synthesis of polyborides is quite unique and effective, and it has become one of the main achievements in the course of the project, - explained Alexander Zhukov. - The materials went through all the necessary research and certification, we calculated the burning rate and calorific value of the resulting fuel, and our partner, Chemical Technologies, mastered the production of these borides and other compounds.

The production of new rocket fuel components will be part of a Russian-Indian project. Industrial scale production will be launched by the Indian