Innovative Predictive Tools for Successful Processing of Propylene Glycol Dinitrate for Production of Otto Fuel II

Period of Performance: 07/09/2010 - 01/09/2011

$79.5K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NALAS Engineering Services Inc.
85 Westbrook Road Array
Centerbrook, CT 06409
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Innovative Predictive Tools for Successful Processing of Propylene Glycol Dinitrate for Production of Otto Fuel II: The proposed methods for developing predictive tools for processing propylene glycol dinitrate (PGDN)are based on sound chemical engineering principles related to mixing, separations, material and energy balances, and automation. The existing use test utilized by the Navy provides an excellent guide to processability in the manufacturing plants for the various nitrate esters produced. It is proposed that the efforts outlined build upon these past successes. First, the nitrator in the manufacturing plant will be incorporated into a mixing model. The documentation of the nitrator geometries will assist in development of a mixing model that will be used for demonstrating. The mixing model will then be validated using simulant materials for mixed acid and PGDN. The laboratory setup will also be utilized to develop dimensionless numbers. A separate model will predict whether or not an emulsive interface that maybe present due to incomplete settling will impact the light or heavy outlet points in the settler. Heat flow calorimetry will be evaluated for the reaction to PGDN and a database of heat flow values will begin for determination of acceptable ranges. Finally, the system will be evaluated for removing the operator from the hazardous operation. This is the most challenging task. Laboratory operations are difficult to remote due to the equipment typically used. The use of innovative tools will such as tomography will be investigated to assist the remote operations. At the conclusion of Phase I individual components including heat flow calorimetry, Redox, remote operations, tomography, mixing models will have been evaluated and recommendations provided towards a Phase II prototype.