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Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed

Posted by: sanman - Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:19 am
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Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed 
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Space Walker
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Post Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed   Posted on: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:19 am
Researchers in Sweden have finally succeeded in synthesizing Trinitramid, a powerful chemical fuel with 20-30% more energy density than the best rocket fuels today, as well as environmentally friendly emissions characteristics:

http://www.rdmag.com/News/2010/12/Energ ... -molecule/

What remains to be seen is its stability, which is obviously key to its practical use.


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Post Re: Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed   Posted on: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:42 am
It's just a wikipedia entry, but it gives a citation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinitramid

"Theoretical calculations by Montgomery and Michels showed that the compound was stable."

What's the rule of thumb again? I'd heard that with each 10% gain in fuel efficiency, you can double your payload mass. So does that mean this stuff could multiply payload masses by upto a factor of 8?? :shock:


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Post Re: Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed   Posted on: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:50 am
There's some stuff on arocket about this - general consensus is the these exotic compounds of N really prefer to be N2, so are almost always violently unstable! Nitroglycerine anyone?


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Post Re: Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed   Posted on: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:40 pm
Wow, this is some exciting news! It is amazing what a 10% difference can make. Is it too soon to get excited about this?

Could someone point out a good book or resource for rocket fuels? Wikipedia has its limits...


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Post Re: Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed   Posted on: Sat Dec 25, 2010 12:47 am
The article talks about solid rocket fuels; while it may be better than current solid fuels, that doesn't mean that it will be better than a liquid rocket. For example, the Shuttle SRBs have a vacuum ISP of 268s (they use ammonium perchlorate as the oxidiser, which provides the chlorine atoms for the hydrochloric acid that the article talks about). A 30% increase to that gives a 350s ISP. That's respectable, but the Shuttle's main engines (liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen) beat that handily with a figure of 450 s. The SpaceX Merlin engine (which would power the liquid-fuel strap-on boosters in the Falcon 9 Heavy, it's really just three Falcon 9 first stages side-by-side) has a vacuum ISP of 305s, so this new fuel may be competitive against RP1/LOX for that type of application, but of course liquid propellant rockets have other advantages as well.

Then there's the question of stability, and of mass production. These chemical analysis machines are really sensitive, so "enough to be detected" is probably a very tiny amount in a solution. Making enough to fill an SRB is something else again.

So I'd say that this looks somewhat promising, but it's no magic, and in any case a lot of research is needed before we see something take off on a plume of trinitramid.

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Post Re: Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed   Posted on: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:34 pm
This is likely to be too explosive to be of any use. NCl3 and N2S4 are. The latter a substitute for mercury fulminate in firearms.

Possibly any exothermic compound that can raise Isp is likely to be able to detonate (H2O2 and N2O are exothermic but have lower Isp than oxygen).

The Russians have the best formula: LOX + kerosene + very good design.
Vacuum Isp over 350 are achieved with a number of their engines. Methane can allow over 360.

Rockets are machines, not chemistry sets.


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Post Re: Trinitramid - New Super Rocket Fuel Developed   Posted on: Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:16 am
The article links to supporting documentation here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201007047

I don't know if it's available for free, but it seems so. That file compares (among other things) trinitramide to LOX when using LH2 or hydrazine as fuel (but not with kerosene).
edit: not confused anymore. isp is stated as N*s/Kg, divide by 9.81 to get isp in seconds.

Anyway, here's the table.

Code:
Propellant composition (At maximum Isp) Specific impulse (Isp) (Ns / kg) Density impulse (Id) b (Ns / L) Combustion Temperature (K)
LOX(48 wt%) + HZ (52 wt%) 3070 3270 3400
NTO (57 wt%) + HZ (43 wt%) 2870 3490 3260
TNA (59 wt%) + HZ (41 wt%) 2960 4210 3400
LOX(80 wt%) + LH (20 wt%) 3825 1048 2947
NTO (85 wt%) + LH (15 wt%) 3350 1200 2750
TNA (86 wt%) + LH (14 wt%) 3450 1390 2970
AP (70 wt%) + Al (30 wt%) 2780 5910 4550
TNA (26 wt%) + Al (74 wt%) 2840 7020 5420


Basic conclusions:
Compared to LOX/LH2 it gives higher density but lower isp
Compared to LOX/hydrazine it gives higher density and slightly lower isp
Compared to ammonium perchlorate/aluminium it gives higher density and slightly higher isp
Why no comparison with LOX/kerosene?


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