High Performance Fuel Based on Nanoparticulate-Hydrocarbon Hybrids

Period of Performance: 05/07/2004 - 11/07/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator


This proposed Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I addresses the development of advanced hybrid fuels and determination of their suitability for selected high thrust propulsion applications. The hybrid fuels will consist of metal oxide coated metal nanoparticles suspended in hydrocarbon fuel. Similar propellants have been utilized in rocket and missile propulsion systems as gels. These formulations enhance the density and specific impulse of the base propellant and also impart the desirable properties of gels to fuels. In the proposed Phase I, fuels for various high thrust applications (e.g., gas turbine, automobiles, generators, auxiliary power units) are sought. Such fuels will improve energy density and enable reduction in fuel weight and combustion chamber size. Phase I will consider a matrix of formulations drawn from various metal nano-particulate species. Initial testing of preferred fuels will be conducted. Properties of candidate formulations will be calculated and fuels with the desired properties prepared and initial properties measurements and combustion experiments performed. Rheology of fuels will be determined and fluid properties of candidate formulations evaluated. During Phase II the scaled-up synthesis of preferred hybrid fuels will be performed and more extensive testing of properties (rheological and combustion) of preferred formulations conducted.